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In Honor of ® Clgik & fcittsfiM Sillier® 
frkiirk of tli£ iinilfonl CellEgE likaq 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 

New garden 


The Original Plot 1757 

Friends Homes 

"The Stone" 


Meeting School 
Public School 1900 
Parsonage 1950 


Brick School 
1816 □ 


Oak 1U92?-1959 



Friendly Avenue 

To J.W.Woody 

1881* (15 acres) 


Original plot bought by Henry Ballinger 
and Thomas Hunt in 1757 for "five Ster- 
ling." There was already a meeting house 
on the grounds, and the land was for 
"The Christian People Called Quakers to 
meet in for the Publick Worship of Al- 
mighty God, As also, Ground to Bury 
their Dead in ... (53 acres) 


New garden 


The Christian People Called Quakers 


Hiram H. Hilty 

Revised Edition 
North Carolina Friends Historical Society 
New Garden Friends Meeting 

Copyright © 2001 by The North Carolina Friends Historical Society. 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a 
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, 
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written 
permission, except for brief quotations in connection with a literary 
review. For information address the North Carolina Friends Historical 
Society, P.O. Box 8502, Greensboro, NC 27419-0502. 

First printed in 1983. Revised and expanded 2001. 

New Garden Friends Meeting : The Christian People Called Quakers / 
Hiram H. Hilty. 

Includes bibliographical references and index. 
ISBN 0-942585-18-6 

Manufactured in the United States of America. 
Printed by Thomson-Shore. 

To Janet, who has shared with me fifty-three years 
of joyous fellowship with the Christian people 
called Quakers at New Garden Meeting 


List of Illustrations 

I. The Beginnings i 

Why They Came — Thomas Beals — Eastern Settlements — 
Nantucketers — Founding Fathers — A Place of Worship — First 
Meeting for Business — Original Purchase 

II. The Site of North Carolina Yearly Meeting of 
Friends 16 

Center of Gravity Moves to Piedmont — Yearly Meeting at New 
Garden 1 790 — Families from Eastern North Carolina 

III. Internal Life of the Meeting 18 

Strict Discipline — Westward Migration — Ann Jessup — A Mobile 

IV. The War of Independence 2 1 

Quakers and Indians — Peace Testimony — Battle of New 
Garden — Battle of Guilford Courthouse — Nurse Wounded and 
Bury Dead — Meeting House Burns — ijc/i Meeting House 

V. Slavery 26 

fohn Woolman — Pennsylvania and New England Heritage — 
Negroes Protected — Manumission Society — School for Slaves — 
Uncle Frank's Prayer — Colonization Society — Anti-Slavery Band 
at New Garden — Levi Coffin — Benjamin Hedrick — Lose 
Members to West — Discipline Slackens 

VI. The Ordeal of the Civil War 36 

Seek Exemption from Military Service — Few Young Men at New 
Garden — War Quakers — New Garden Boarding School 
Sustained — Nereus Mendenhall — Ecumenical Cemetery 

VII. Post-War Education and Reconstruction 41 

Baltimore Association — Francis T. King — Joseph Moore 

VIII. Guilford: A First Class College 43 

Early Educational Efforts — Anne the Huntress — Monthly 
Meeting Schools — Little Brick School House — Yearly Meeting 
House of 1872 — Lyndon Hobbs — Friends in Truth's Service, 
Meeting House of 1884 — Public School — New Settlers 

IX. Growing Acculturation 56 

Ecumenism — Mixed Marriages — Christian Endeavor — Jews 
and Catholics 

X. Outreach Ministries 60 

William and Nathan Hunt — Emphasize Conversion — Ministers 
Visit Widely — Rural Hall — Dover Laid Down in 1889 — Blue 
Ridge Mission — Kernersville, Winston-Salem — Mary Mendenhall 
Hobbs Education Evangelist — Prohibition Promoted — First Day 

XI. New Garden Becomes a Pastoral Meeting 67 

Friends Ministeries — Albert Peele — A Community Church — 
Quakers Change — Meeting in Memorial Hall — Meeting House 
of 1 9 1 2 — J. Edgar Williams First Pastoral Minister 

XII. Global Missions and Service 73 

Anna Edgerton Missionary to India 1898 — School of Missions at 
New Garden — Friends from New Garden Serve in Mexico, 
Switzerland, Jamaica, Jordan, Japan, Germany, Poland, China, 
Africa, India, Cuba, Korea, France — Peace Activism — Peace 
Oratorical Contests — Joseph Peele 

XIII. The Depression Years and World War II 79 

Parsonage Episode — Hard Times — International Relations 
Institute — Conscientious Objectors — Quakers in Military Service — 
Knight Tragedy — Relief — The Draft — 1950 Parsonage — 
Nuclear Concerns — Seminars in Washington and New York — 
Viet Nam — Herbert Huffman — Russell Branson — Charles 
Thomas — Aldean Pitts 

XIV. Institutional Growth 89 

Meeting House of 1961 — Arrangement Altered — Norval Webb at 
Dedication — Revolutionary Oak Succumbs — New Garden on Its 

XV. The World Conference 95 

Preliminary Soundings — Local Organization — 900 Delegates — 
J. Floyd Moore — U-Thant — Quaker Service Continues — Jack 

XVI. A New Era at New Garden 100 
Population Growth — Multiplication of Churches — Integration — 
Friendship Meeting — Friends Homes — New Garden Friends 

XVII. The Nineteen Seventies 107 

Day Care Center — Rockingham Preparative Meeting — Sponsor 
Refugees — United Society of Friends Women — Brotherhood Class — 
Philathea-Friendly Class — Building Proposals — Environmental 
Concerns — Spiritual Condition Described — David Bills 

XVIII. The Transition to a New Millennium 1 20 

New Worship Room — Semi-programmed Meeting for Worship — 
Activities of the Meeting — Social Services — Walking Tour — 
Visits to England — Characteristics of Friends Today 

Appendix I: Clerks Since 1900 128 
Appendix II: Pastoral Ministers at New Garden 1 29 
Bibliography 130 

List of Illustrations 

i. 1791 and 1988 Meeting Houses 

Front Cover 

Watercolor of 1791 meeting house by John Collins, 1869. 

Photo of 1988 meeting house, 2001.* 

2. Map of Original Purchase 


3. A Log Meeting House 

1 1 

4. Map of New Garden Area, 1800 


5. Meeting House of 1791 


6. Little Brick Schoolhouse 


7. Levi Coffin 

3 ] 

8. Levi Coffin Home 


9. Founders Hall 


10. Yearly Meeting House of 1872 


1 1. Lewis Lyndon Hobbs 


1 2 . Quaker Garb 


13. Meeting House of 1884 

5 1 

14. Mary C. Woody 

6 1 

15. Mary Mendenhall Hobbs 


16. The 1912 Meeting House 


17. J. Edgar Williams 


18. The 1950 Parsonage 


19. The 1961 Meeting House 


20. U-Thant 


21. Sit-In Sign 


22. Meeting Picture of 1982 

1 10 

23. The Brotherhood Class 


24. The Philathea and Baraca Classes 


25. The 1988 Meeting Room Addition* 


26. David Bills* 


27. The Revolutionary Oak Marker* 


28. Meeting for Worship* 

1 26 

29. Hiram H. Hilty* 

Back Cover 

* Photographs by Tom Lassiter, 2000-2001. 

All photographs and artwork courtesy of the Friends Historical Collection, 
Guilford College, unless otherwise noted above o: on the referenced pages. 


I have imagined myself bouncing down the famous Pennsylva- 
nia Wagon Road toward the strange new land of North Carolina 
more than 200 years ago. I have lived with Friends as they felled 
trees in the virgin forest to build their rustic homes and raised 
their first simple meeting house. I have sat in their silent meet- 
ings for worship and their earnest monthly meetings for busi- 
ness. I have seen the first crops begin to grow as the warm sun 
filtered down on the first clearings. 

To enter this mood, I have spent many hours poring over 226 
years of monthly meeting minutes, and read numerous articles 
and books. The life of New Garden Friends Meeting is well docu- 
mented, and my task has been to try to put it in a compressed 
narrative which will help us catch the sweep of events and under- 
stand the meaning of it all. It begins with some forty families 
who were bound together by a common perception of Truth, to 
use their favorite term. This led them to establish a community 
whose life revolved around their Quaker Meeting and its con- 
cerns. It caused them to establish a meeting school, a school for 
slaves, and with the Yearly Meeting, the New Garden Boarding 

This book recounts the working out of meeting concerns over 
the generations. There is so much that might be said — that ought 
to be said — that one must exercise severe discipline in a study as 
brief as this. Much more material has been eliminated than has 
been included, and I trust Friends will be understanding. 

It was my good fortune to have a long and close friendship 
with Dorothy Gilbert Thorne, and I have written in the shadow 


of that remarkable person. Her history of Guilford College, and 
her important article on the origins of New Garden Meeting in 
the Bulletin of the Friends Historical Association in 1945, con- 
tain a core of information which research confirms again and 
again. Algie Newlin, J. Floyd Moore, Russell Branson and 
Gertrude Beal have all done important work in this area, and I 
am indebted to them all. Frank and Ethel Crutchfield, Harriet 
Hood, Louetta Knight Gilbert, Clara Farlow and others have 
provided important reminiscences. Invaluable assistance has 
come from Damon Hickey, Curator of the Friends Historical 
Collection of Guilford College, and Mary Edith Hinshaw, both 
of whom have read the manuscript, and from Carole Treadway, 
expert bibliographer and assistant in the Friends Historical Col- 

This study has been sponsored by the North Carolina Friends 
Historical Society and is one in its commendable series of meet- 
ing histories. The Society, the Publication Board of North Caro- 
lina Yearly Meeting, and New Garden Meeting, have assisted in 
this publication, and their aid is gratefully acknowledged. 


The beloved community of New Garden Friends Meeting, both 
near and far, has long awaited Hiram Hilty's update to "The Chris- 
tian People Called Quakers." With the assistance of the Litera- 
ture Committee, clerked by Jane Miller and Ruth Anne Hood, 
and the guidance of Carole Treadway, of the North Carolina 
Friends Historical Society, the added information in this book 
brings the history of New Garden Friends Meeting from the early 
1980s up to the new millennium. No attempt was made to revise 
the original text or to include more details. Instead, with the ad- 
dition of a new chapter, Hiram Hilty was able to express how the 
growing meeting community has evolved over the last eighteen 
years. Touched upon are the main concerns, decisions, and high- 
lights of the life of New Garden Friends Meeting as it approaches 
its 250th year. Special thanks to Nancy Lassiter who saw this book 
through its publication and to the Friends Historical Collection 
of Guilford College for the use of its resources. 


The Beginnings 

The Quaker settlement at New Garden in the piedmont region 
of North Carolina in the mid- 1 700's came about as a result of a 
great movement of people southward from Pennsylvania and 
contiguous colonies. Many of the settlers came by the famous 
Pennsylvania Wagon Road. Crevecour's famous Letters from an 
American Farmer relates it to the settlement of the Moravians. 
Referring to New Garden, he wrote: "There they have founded 
a beautiful settlement . . . contiguous to the famous one which 
the Moravians gave at Bethabara, Bethamia [sic], and Salem, on 
the Yadkin River." 1 

Another settlement of ethnic Germans formed to the east of 
New Garden before and during the arrival of the Pennsylvania 
Quakers. There were Lutherans and German Reformed, who 
had also come from Pennsylvania and continue as a vigorous 
religious community today. The first of this group was the 
Friedens Lutheran Church, which was organized in 1745, and 
survives to this day. 

In what was to become North Greensboro, on Buffalo Creek, 
a Presbyterian congregation formed in 1755 or 1756. Services 
had been held there since the visit of the Pennsylvania mission- 
ary Hugh McAden, in 1752. These people of Irish and Scotch- 
Irish stock, had also come from Pennsylvania. Like all the rest, 
they came in search of land and elbow room, and the right to a 
free exercise of their religion. 

It has been suggested that this avalanche of migration re- 
sponded to the innate restlessness of descendants of European 
Teutons who had astonished the Romans by their continuous 
moving about. A more precise explanation might be that Gov- 

1 Crevecour, J. Hector St. John de, Letters from an American Farmer, p. 103. 
Quoted by Dorothy Gilbert, Guilford: A Quaker College, pp. 20, 21. 



ernor Spotswood of Virginia launched a campaign in 1716 to 
populate the Shenandoah Valley and the upper piedmont 
region. This movement flowed southward, attracted by offers 
of fifty acres free as a homestead by the governors of North 
Carolina, and attractive prices on the Granville Estates. Gran- 
ville sold 640 acres for three shillings (plus a small quitrent) at a 
time when the heirs of William Penn were charging fifteen 
pounds for a hundred acres in Pennsylvania. 

In terms of religion, Pennsylvania Quakers could hardly have 
expected an improvement in North Carolina, for it was the duty 
of the colonial governors to establish and maintain the Anglican 
Church there. However, freedom-loving North Carolinians 
were not very cooperative. As early as 1703, Presbyterians 
united with Quakers to force the removal of Deputy Governor 
Robert Daniel when he pushed through a requirement that all 
Assemblymen must be Anglicans. Daniel had also demanded 
that Quakers take the oath, but this was rescinded and the 
Quaker exemption restored. 2 

The flood of immigrants who came to North Carolina in the 
mid-eighteenth century were not, of course, the first inhabi- 
tants. Native Americans, commonly called Indians, had lived 
there for centuries, perhaps millenia. Those inhabiting what is 
now Guilford County were the Saura and Keyawee, whose 
memory is still retained in the Sauratown Mountains and the 
town of Cheraw (Keyawee) in South Carolina. They are classi- 
fied as Eastern Sioux. Although very little is known about these 
people, it is assumed on the basis of clear knowledge about their 
neighbors, that they were an agricultural people, who also en- 
gaged in hunting and fishing. Tradition holds that they were 
themselves peaceable, but were raided repeatedly by their Iro- 
quois enemies and abandoned the New Garden region about 
171 1. As a consequence, "only a few of them were seen walking 
around after the 1740's and the 1750's." 3 Two or three Indian 
families were said still to be living in the Buffalo Church area 
when the Quakers arrived. 

2 Lefler, Hugh T., History of North Carolina, vol. 1, p. 65. 

3 Arnett, Ethel, The Saura and Keyawee in the land that became Guilford, Ran- 
dolph and Rockingham, Greensboro, N.C. 1975, p. g2f. 



An interesting aspect of the life of the Sauras is their funeral 
customs. When an important person died, people gathered from 
a great distance for the funeral and awaited the arrival of some 
noted doctor or conjurer. John Lawson reported that "in time 
he came and after a long period of silence he began his ora- 
tion." He was followed by three others who spoke in praise of 
the deceased. 4 Quaker practice seems to rise from the very soil 
of New Garden! 

There was concern by New Garden Quakers about the own- 
ership of the land they occupied, and it is said that they pur- 
chased it from the Keyawees, but the matter is unclear. In 1 764, 
a committee was appointed to investigate any Indian claims 
against lands occupied by New Garden Friends, but after two 
fruitless months the matter was dropped. The Indians had long 
since gone. In 1791, however, as Friends pressed westward, a 
minute was adopted that "no Friend settle ... on Indian land 
unpurchased." 5 

Probably, the attractiveness of the New Garden area, and its 
openness with occasional clearings, was a heritage from the long 
Indian occupation and practice of agriculture. The 
slash-and-burn method of agriculture practised by American 
Indians, and the large cornfields known to have been cultivated 
by North Carolina Indians, may have created a welcome open 
area then still persisting in the vast forest. Another tradition 
repeated by the late Edgar Murrow, had it that this area was a 
vast hunting ground where the Indians periodically stalked their 
prey unencumbered by heavy underbrush. To keep it that way, 
it was burned off when the brush began to grow back. 

It was to this ancient Indian settlement, now rapidly filling 
up with Euro- Americans, that Thomas Beals came to make a 
home for his family sometime after 1748. He had gone to Cane 
Creek to join other Friends there on that date, but then pressed 
on some thirty miles westward to become a founder of a new 
settlement. His odyssey foreshadowed the pattern imitated by 
scores that followed. Born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, he 
had gone first to Hopewell Meeting near Winchester, Virginia, 

4 Ibid. 

5 New Garden Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 28, 1792. Hereinafter 



then to Cane Creek, North Carolina, before establishing his 
home at New Garden. In his home, the first "official" meeting 
for worship was held in 1752. 6 Of course, Friends had been 
gathering informally for some time. Tradition has them sitting 
on fallen trees for benches in 1740 or 1741. A log meeting 
house is said to have been built as early as 1742, which, however, 
burned in 1752 and was replaced in about 1754. 7 

But the restless Thomas Beals moved on to Westfield, North 
Carolina, then to Virginia again, then to Lost Creek, Tennessee, 
and in 1 799 settled near Chillicothe, Ohio. It was Beals and his 
companions from Chester County, Pennsylvania, who brought 
the name to New Garden Meeting, for several families of them 
came from the New Garden Meeting in Chester County. In 
about 1706, several families from Ireland had come to Penn's 
colony, and "settling there, gave the name New Garden to their 
home, in remembrance of that place in Ireland." 8 The geneal- 
ogy of the New Garden name thus becomes clear. J. Floyd 
Moore, seeking the roots of his North Carolina Meeting, has 
visited the ancient burying ground of the Irish New Garden 
Meeting in the Republic of Ireland, sparking much interest in 
the almost forgotten site. 

It should not be supposed, however, that the Cane Creek- 
New Garden Quaker settlements were the first in North Caro- 
lina. Since 1698, there had been a North Carolina Yearly 
Meeting of Friends which gathered about 200 miles away near 
the coast in Perquimans County. It was there that William 
Edmundson, an Irish Friend, found Quaker Henry Phillips 
living in 1672. Phillips said it had been seven years since he had 
seen a Quaker. Later that year, George Fox himself, the found- 
er of Quakerism, visited there and preached to gathered 
Friends. A historical marker at Hertford marks this spot. In 
1752, Thomas Newby from Perquimaans visited New Garden 
Monthly Meeting, and some Eastern Friends may have settled 
in the Piedmont before the Friends from the North arrived, 

6 See Gilbert, Dorothy, "First Friends at New Garden," Bulletin FHA, 
Haverford, 1945. 

7 Stephen B. Weeks, Southern Quakers and Slavery, Baltimore, 1896, p. 109. 

8 Cooper, Sarah Moore, 200th Anniversary Sketch (1715-1915) of New Garden 
Friends Meeting, Chester County, Pa., p. 20. 



although the earliest certificate from an eastern meeting to New 
Garden was that of Thomas Stone in 1761. 9 Others transferring 
from the Cane Creek Meeting may have been of Eastern origin. 

Piedmont Friends soon affiliated with the established Yearly 
Meeting, requesting a monthly meeting at Cane Creek in 1751. 
In the quaint parlance of the time, they informed Perquimans 
and Little River Quarterly Meeting that "there is Thirty Fami- 
lies and upwards of Friends settled in them Parts and Desire still 
in behalf of themselves and their Friends to have a Monthly 
Meeting settled amongst them." 10 This request being granted, 
the first piece of business to come before Cane Creek Monthly 
Meeting, 7th day of 10th month, 1751, was a request from New 
Garden for permission to hold their own meeting for worship. 11 
This request being granted, a meeting for worship was duly 
held in the home of Thomas Beals at New Garden, in February 
of 1752, according to the good order of Friends. Two years 
later, on the 15th day of 5th month, 1754, a monthly meeting 
was authorized to save New Garden Friends the inconvenience 
of a thirty-mile ride on horseback to attend meetings for busi- 
ness at Cane Creek. At that time, it was said that there were 
some "Forty Families of Friends seated in them parts." 12 

The Pennsylvania and Virginia Friends who had settled "in 
them parts" before 1754 were joined by a flood from Nantucket 
Island 1771-1775. Elijah Coffin gives us some insight into the 
reasons for this migration: 

The island of Nantucket being small, its soil not very pro- 
ductive, a large number of people could not be supported 
thereupon . . . The population of the island still increasing, 
many of its citizens turned their attention to other parts, 
and were induced to remove and settle elsewhere, with a 
view to better their condition as to provide for their chil- 
dren, etc. A while before the Revolutionary War, a con- 
siderable colony of Friends removed and settled at New 

9 NGMM, May 30, 1761. 

10 Ibid. 25, 1754. 

11 Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes, October 7, 1751. 

12 Gilbert, Dorothy Lloyd, "First Friends at New Garden in North Carolina," 
Bulletin of Friends Historical Association, Haverford, Pa., Autumn, 1945. 



Garden in Guilford County, North Carolina, which was 
then a newly settled country. My grandfather Coffin was 
one of the number that thus removed. His removal took 
place, I believe, in the year 1773. 13 

With the addition of a number of families from the eastern 
counties of Perquimans and Pasquotank, the eighteenth cen- 
tury New Garden family was essentially complete. This was the 

There seemed to be a magic attraction to the New Garden 
area, especially for those coming from the North. Addison 
Coffin wrote ebulliently of the great forests with sparse under- 
growth creating a park-like atmosphere which he assumed 
(wrongly) accounted for the name New Garden. Nevertheless, 
the climax forest, with its abundant variety of deciduous trees, 
had both esthetic and economic appeal. The regions further 
south and east would have presented a sub-tropical environ- 
ment of flatlands covered with pine forests, some of it swampy, 
which would have seemed alien to the Pennsylvanians, Irish- 
men, Englishmen and Germans. They felt at home at once in 
the pleasantly rolling terrain with its familiar oaks and maples. 
One reared in the middle and northern reaches of the tem- 
perate zone still thrills to the feeling of "coming home" as he 
rises from the coastal regions to the pleasant Piedmont today. 

Economically, the Piedmont offered pleasant and useful 
streams and springs, game and ample wood for building and 
fuel. The red soil, which would later be scorned by western 
scouts who had seen the black loam of the Northwest Territory, 
was, nevertheless, productive and of sufficient depth to endure 
for many generations. The climate was benign compared to 
Pennsylvania, yet invigorating enough to encourage industry. 
The winters were short. Abundant streams provided water 
power for the gristmills and sawmills so important to the pio- 
neers. To this day, the water wheel still turns slowly at Bailes 

13 Elijah Coffin, Life with Reminiscences by his Son, Charles P. Coffin (n.p. 1863), 
p. 10. Cited by Steven J. White, "Friends and the Coming of the Revolution," 
The Southern Friend, Spring, 1982, p. 17. 



Mill on Beaver Creek, where it was established by Quaker 
Nathan Dillon in 1766. 14 

The pioneers brought with them the ideas and customs of 
established American communities, along with their Quaker 
names. But especially, they brought with them their religion. 
To an extent that is difficult for many to understand in our 
secular age, they "lived and moved and had their being" in the 
Religious Society of Friends. They carried with them certificates 
testifying to their membership in the society, and were expected 
to have written permission from their monthly meetings to 
migrate to a known area in the Carolina wilderness. It was the 
custom for scouts to go ahead to ascertain the suitability of an 
area for human habitation before such permission was granted. 
Of course, there were adventurers like Daniel Boone (who was a 
Quaker) who did not fit into this mold and struck out on their 

We are indebted to William Wade Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of 
American Quaker Genealogy for a list of seventeen heads of fami- 
lies, whom Dorothy Gilbert Thorne considered as probably 
among the original forty who settled "in them parts." They are: 

as follows: Thomas Beals, Benjamin Beeson from Deep 
River, William Beeson, Abraham Cook, Daniel Dillon, 
Eleazer Hunt, William Hunt, Mordecai Mendenhall from 
Deep River, John Mills, Henry Mills, Hur Mills, Thomas 
Mills, Benjamin Rudduck, John Rudduck, Thomas Thorn- 
brugh, Thomas Vestal, and Richard Williams. The two 
men from Deep River are included in the list since New 
Garden when it was first set up included both Deep River 
and Center. That circumstance affects the statistics for it 
means that the forty families were spread over a rather 
wide area; Deep River is six miles southwest of New Gar- 
den and Center eighteen miles southeast. 

We can do no better than continue to quote from Dorothy 
Thome's careful study: 

14 See Fred Hughes, Map of Guilford County Before 1800, Jamestown, 
N.C., 1980. Hughes' map shows no less than 25 water mills established before 



After 1754 it is easy to compile lists of members, for each 
family presented its certificate of removal, or each indi- 
vidual not formerly a Friend came under the care of 
Friends for a time, then requested that he be joined in 

Until the opening of the Revolutionary War New Gar- 
den Meeting did a thriving business in certificates, for it 
was growing rapidly. The first great migration came from 
Pennsylvania and Virginia between 1754 and 1770; the 
Nantucket migration began in 1771 and ended abruptly in 
1775. The third migration, although it began in 1760-61 
with a few families from Eastern Carolina, did not reach 
flood tide until the great old meetings near the coast began 
to move into central Carolina and the beckoning West in 
the first half of the nineteenth century. 

Warrington Meeting in York County, Pennsylvania, sent 
the largest number from a single meeting in Pennsylvania 
or Virginia. Twenty-two certificates were received, many 
for whole families. The list consists of the names of John 
Beeson, Isaac Cox,* 15 Peter Cox,* Nathan, Peter,* and 
Zacharias Dicks. Jacob* and Abraham* Elliott, Jeams and 
Aaron Frazier, Samuel Fisher, Mical Hough, Isaac Jones,* 
Thomas Kendall, Finley McGrew, Joseph Ogburn, Isaac 
Pidgin, Samuel Pope, Benjamin Ruddock, William Smith,* 
Roger Waters, and Thomas Wilson. 

Eight certificates were received from Bradford Meeting 
in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the persons being 
Jeams,* Phineas, John,* Richard, and John Mendenhall; 
Samuel Millikin, Eleazar Worth and Abraham Woodward. 

Thomas Dennis,* Thomas Dennis, Jr., John Maries 
(Maris),* Moses Mendenhall, William Reynolds* were re- 
ceived from New Garden Meeting in Chester County, 
Pennsylvania; James Brown,* James Jonson,* John Rich* 

15 Certificates including wife or wife and children are marked with the 
asterisk. A few of these certificates represent a very short period of residence 
in North Carolina. Other certificates represent the second trip to North 
Carolina rather than the first, since New Garden had issued certificates to 
Warrington or other Pennsylvania meetings. For example, Benjamin Rud- 
dock's name appears in the minutes before he presented any certificate. In 
1755 ne returned a certificate granted to Warrington, in 1761 he got one to 
the same meeting, and in 1763 he returned to New Garden with another 
certificate from Warrington. [Note by Dorothy Thorne] 


from East Nottingham, once a subordinate meeting for 
New Garden, Pennsylvania; Richard Bradley* came from 
Chester Meeting, now in Delaware County; William 
Thatcher,* John Wall,* Isaac Widows, Jr., from Concord 
Meeting, now in Delaware County; Samuel Stanfield* from 
Uwchlan Meeting in Chester County; Joseph Unthank* 
and Samuel Pearson* from Richland Meeting in Bucks 
County; Stephen Mendenhall from Sadsbury Meeting in 
Lancaster County. 

The migrations from Virginia were small and compact, 
usually centering about a few families and occurring within 
a short space of time. Most of the families were from 
Pennsylvania; they had lived in Virginia for a few years 
and were ready to move on into Carolina. 

The migration from Cedar Creek Meeting in Hanover 
County centers about the years 1766-7 with seven of the 
eleven certificates bearing those dates. The Friends were 
David Brooks,* Thomas Elmore, Obadiah Harris,* James 
Harris, Phillip Hoggatt, Robert,* John,* and William* 
Johnson, John Payne,* Hezekiah Sanders,* and William 
Stanley.* Incidentally, John Payne was the father of Dolly 
Madison, who was born at New Garden. 

Caroline Meeting, which according to Stephen B. Weeks 
is identical with Cedar Creek, sent other members of sev- 
eral of these families; seven of the nine cetificates are dated 
in 1764 and 1765. Members transferring to New Garden 
were Joseph Hoggatt, Jeams* and Talton Johnson, William 
Lane,* John Sanders,* John Sanders, Jr., Strangeman, 
Nathan and Zachariah Stanley. Anthony Hoggatt and his 
wife transferred from Camp Creek in Virginia. 

Ten certificates were issued to New Garden from Hope- 
well Meeting in Frederick County, Virginia. They were for 
the following: John Beals, Richard,* Isaac, Sr.,* and Na- 
thel Beeson, Benjamin Brittain, Joseph Hiatt, James Lang- 
ley, Abraham Potter, Simeon Taylor, and Jeams Wright.* 

Six Friends, some with families, came from Fairfax 
Meeting in Waterford (now Loudon County, Virginia). 
They were David Bailey, William Kersey, William Brazel- 
ton,* George Hiatt, Edward Norton, and Micajah Stanley. 
Joseph Pattison and family were received from "Hannori- 
co" Meeting, which would seem to be Henrico in Henrico 
County, Virginia. This completes the list of Friends re- 


ceived on certificate by New Garden between 1754 and 
1 770 except for the small migration from Perquimans and 
Pasquotank in Eastern Carolina. In 1760 Henry, Joseph, 
Jacob and Thomas Lamb came from Perquimans; in 1761 
Henry Powell* and John Stone* transferred, and in 1766 
Jesse Henley arrived from Pasquotank. In the same period, 
1754-1770, New Garden received fourteen certificates 
from Cane Creek Meeting, which had been the superior 
meeting until New Garden received permission to hold its 
own monthly meeting. These probably represent the effort 
to rearrange membership more conveniently rather than a 
change in residence, since several of the families took 
membership at Center, which lies between New Garden 
and Cane Creek, as soon as it was set up. 

This brings us up to the influx from Nantucket Island. Again, 
we turn to Dorothy Gilbert's compilation: 

Between 1771 and 1775, New Garden Meeting received 43 
certificates from Nantucket. The following Friends, many 
with families, were those who came: Tristram,* Francis, 
Jr., and Timothy Barnard; Benjamin Barney; Richard 
Beard; Reuben Bunker; Charles Clasby;* Libni, William, 
Jr., Barnabas, William, Seth,* Samuel,* Peter, and Joseph 
Coffin; Peter Coggeshall; Thomas Davis;* Richard, Wil- 
liam, Stephen, Jr., Stephen, Sr., and Barzellai Gardner; 
Jonathan Gifford; John,* Jethro, David, Enoch, Nathaniel, 
Matthew,* Paul,* and Joseph Macy; Jonathan Ray; Timo- 
thy Russell; William Stanton; William, Gayer,* and Paul* 
Starbuck; Thaniel Swain;* John Sweet; William Way; 
Daniel,* Francis, and Jonah Worth. 

Gilbert completes her list with the names of a few families 
who came from a few scattered places during the time the 
Nantucketers were arriving: 

Richard Haworth,* William Reece, and Jesse Pugh came 
from Hopewell; Jehu Stuart* from Caroline; Bolin Clark 
from South River in Bedford County, Virginia. Joseph 
Iddings* and Thomas Pierce came from Bradford, Penn- 
sylvania, and Daniel Bills from Kingwood, New Jersey. 

Tradition insists that Friends at New Garden first sat on logs 
when they met for worship. An ancient Friend repeated the 



story in 1883 as she had received it orally as a child: 

Two large trees were felled so that the upper branches 
would join to form a triangle, and a third had fallen across 
the butts of these trees, making a triangle or corrall, inside 
of which their horses were hitched. The Friends sat on the 
last tree to hold their meetings. That was about the year 
1741 . In 1742, the first meeting house was erected near the 
eastern end of the present [1791] meeting house. That was 
destroyed by fire some ten or twelve years later and 
another built on the same spot . . , 16 

Dorothy Gilbert remarked that "Truly the minds of these first 
settlers must have been proof against distraction if they could 
worship with horses penned in their midst . . ," 17 

Because Friends families were scattered, the New Garden 
Monthly Meeting was scarcely established in 1754 when it began 
to subdivide into several smaller preparative meetings. Permis- 
sion was granted to Friends at Deep River to hold meetings for 

16 The Christian Worker, April 19, 1883. 

17 Dorothy Gilbert, Op. Cit. 



worship there in 1755, after due investigation by a committee of 
Friends to see if they could hold meetings "to the honor of 
Truth." Indeed, Stephen Weeks described New Garden Meet- 
ing as the most important one in North Carolina and the 
mother of many others. Centre Meeting was authorized in 
1773, two years after the important western outpost of West- 
field, in Surry County, in 1771. From vVestfield, but still under 
the care of New Garden, sprang Lost Creek and Nolichucky in 
Tennessee. Closer by, meetings were established at Upper 
Reedy Fork in 1793 (which became Dover Monthly Meeting in 
1815), and Lower Reedy Fork (which became Hopewell Month- 
ly Meeting in 1825). 18 Hopewell gradually faded from the min- 
utes, but the Dover Meeting endured for more than a century, 
finally being laid down in 1899. 19 In the early years, while the 
nearby meetings were still preparative meetings, the New Gar- 
den monthly meetings for business resembled modern quarter- 
ly meetings. The roll of representatives was called, and rarely 
did anyone fail to respond. It was clearly important to carry 
forward the business of this burgeoning religious community. 
Sessions were held on Saturdays, and often included afternoon 
sessions. There were times when important matters required 
continuance on Sundays. 

These people were mostly engaged in agriculture although 
they brought useful skills with them for other trades as well. 
The Deep River-Jamestown settlement, especially, was said to 
include "millers, hatters, gunsmiths, inkeepers [and] shop- 
keepers." 20 Yet, most of these activities were mingled with the 
imperative need to produce food and provide shelter. As in 
frontier communities everywhere, there was spinning and 
weaving, clearing land, building houses, planting and har- 
vesting, animal husbandry, butchering, hunting and fishing. 
Mary Mendenhall Hobbs wrote that these people arrived well 
equipped with farm implements and carpenter's tools, "axes, 
broadaxes for shaping logs, saws, hammers, augers . . ." And 
the women brought "skillets, spiders, trivets, long-handled fry- 

18 Dorothy Gilbert, Ibid. 

19 NGMMM, July 22, 1899. 

20 Haworth, Cecil, Deep River Quarterly Meeting of Friends, Publications 
Board, North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends, 1976, p. 2 



ing pans, meat choppers, spinning wheels, reel and loom with 
its harness, stays and shuttles." 21 There was no unemployment. 
In modern terms, this was a labor-intensive economy, and happy 
the family that had many sons — although daughters, too, were 

Government stemmed from the British Crown, via a colonial 
governor who was subject to an elected assembly. The seat of 
government was in faraway New Bern in the 1 75o's and 1 76o's. 
The immediate New Garden settlement was in Rowan County, 
but when Guilford County was established in 1771, it was in- 
cluded in that territory. 

The original settlers purchased their land from the agents of 
Lord Granville, and very quickly created a patchwork of land- 
holdings similar to those in Pennsylvania and other older settle- 
ments. Very soon, land was divided and subdivided, sold and 
resold, as the area filled up with in-migrants. The land where 
the meeting house stands today, including the adjacent cemetery, 
was purchased from Richard Williams for five shillings — about 
$ 1 .25 — by Henry Ballinger and Thomas Hunt in 1 757. By that 
time, a simple meeting house (evidently a log structure) was al- 
ready standing on the property, and indeed seems to have been 
the second structure. According to the deed, the property was 
to be used for the "Benefit privilege & Conveniency of A Meet- 
ing House, which is already Erected upon the above Said pre- 
mises, and bears the Name of the New Garden Meeting House 
for the Christian People Called Quakers to meet in for the Publick 
Worship of Almighty God, As Also, Ground to Bury their Dead 
in." 22 It comprised fifty-three acres and included the area now 
occupied by the meeting house, cemetery and parsonage, a por- 
tion of the Guilford College campus, and an approximately equal 
area south of modern Friendly Avenue. 

The presence of this community of Friends was known in 
England at least as early as 1753, for in that year they received a 
visit from Catharine Payton of London Yearly Meeting. She did 
not follow the Pennsylvania-Virginia route, but instead came by 
way of the port of Charleston, South Carolina. Reaching that 

21 Mary Mendenhall Hobbs, "The Origin of New Garden Meeting," Greens- 
boro Daily News, January 19, 1930. 

22 Rowan County Deed Book 2, pp. 219-220. 



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aV^w Garden area in 1800, from Map of Guilford County Before 1800, by 
Fred Hughes. (Copyright 1980 by Fred Hughes. Used by permission.) 

city on October 26, after nine weeks aboard ship, she remained 
there until late December before undertaking the cross-country 
journey to New Garden. With her party, she left the Pee Dee 
River on December 25, 1753. From her journal we read: 



We rode that day about forty miles through the woods 
without seeing any house: and at night took up our lodging 
in the woods, by the side of a branch or swamp . . . Our 
friend made us a little shed of the branches of pine trees 
. . . We made a large fire, and it being a calm, fair moon- 
light night, we spent it cheerfully, though we slept but little 
... In the morning we pursued our journey, and went that 
day about forty-five miles; at night we took up our lodging 
again in the woods . . . the ground was wet . . . cold ... we 
spent that night very uncomfortable . . . but resigned in 

We set out next morning in hopes of reaching a settle- 
ment of Friends at New Garden ... we thought it best to 
stop at Polecat (Centre): The 24th (?) we went to New 
Garden. This was a green settlement of Friends, and we 
were the first from Europe that had visited them . . . We 
labored for the establishment of a meeting for ministers 
and elders in their monthly meeting: which we found was 
wanting. 23 

The first meeting for business recorded in the minutes of 
New Garden Meeting was held on July 26, 1754, and the first 
item of business was a request for marriage from John Hodgson 
and Mary Mills, which was duly granted. 24 At the second 
monthly meeting, James Brown presented a certificate of mem- 
bership from "East Noting in Pennsylvania," which was ac- 
cepted. At the same meeting, Hannah Ballinger requested a 
certificate to "travel in truth's service." 25 This was granted. A 
few months later, a young woman Friend offered a "paper of 
condemnation" for contracting an irregular marriage. Her act 
of contrition (or formal satisfaction?) was accepted. 26 These 
four items of business are symbolic of the sorts of things that 
occupied the attention of New Garden Friends for a hundred 

23 Phillips, Catharine, Memoirs of the Life of Catharine Phillips, Philadel- 
phia, 1798, pp. 79, 80. (As of 1753 she was Catharine Payton.) 

24 NGMMM, July 26, 1754. 

25 Ibid., August 31, 1754. 

26 Ibid., November 30, 1754. 


New Garden Becomes the Site of 
North Carolina Yearly Meeting 

As we saw, the history of Friends in North Carolina begins, not 
at New Garden or Cane Creek, but at the edge of the Dismal 
Swamp at Symons Creek in Pasquotank County. However, with 
the large settlements in the Piedmont, the time came when it 
seemed wise to hold the Yearly Meeting in that region. It went 
first to Centre Meeting in 1787, and from 1790 to 1813 alter- 
nated between New Garden and Symons Creek or Little River, 
but then settled definitely at New Garden in 1813. 

This change in place of meeting corresponded to the growth 
of the Piedmont, but also to the decline of the Eastern Quarter. 
As people experienced the piedmont uplands, there was a ten- 
dency to compare the coastal lowlands unfavorably with that 
region as being "unhealthful." There was also the matter of 
slavery, an institution firmly established among Eastern Friends, 
but with which they began to feel uncomfortable in the years 
before the War of Independence. 

For whatever reasons, some of the oldest families at New 
Garden came from eastern North Carolina. In 1760, we find 
the names of Henry, Joseph, Jacob and Thomas Lamb; Henry 
Powell came in 1761, and John Stone in 1766. 1 Other Friends 
passed through New Garden on their way to the Northwest 
Territory, which had been declared slave-free in 1787. Some of 

1 Cf. Beal, Gertrude, The Origins of New Garden Friends Meeting: An 
Institutional Study, 1754-1764, 1977. MSS. Friends Hist. Coll., Guilford 



the oldest meetings in the East were being laid down at the very 
time when new ones were being set up in Western Quarter. It 
was only logical, therefore, to recognize that the Quaker center 
of gravity had moved west. 

From this time on to the early twentieth century, New Garden 
reached such ascendancy in the Yearly Meeting that the monthly 
meeting minutes often read as if they were those of the Yearly 
Meeting. Ministers in New Garden Meeting traveled over the state 
with minutes for religious service. They helped organize new 
meetings and nurtured old ones. This was even more the case 
after New Garden Boarding School was organized in 1837 and 
became closely associated with the meeting. For seventy-five years 
students from New Garden Boarding School-Guilford College 
were required to attend meeting at New Garden on First-day 


Internal Life of the Meeting 

We must remember, of course, that the structure of the Reli- 
gious Society of Friends at the time depended entirely on the 
work of volunteers: there were no paid ministers or other 
"professional" personnel. Friends were banded together in 
common beliefs and dedication to a way of life which they 
considered to be the will of God. Or perhaps one should say 
they lived in obedience to the Truth, for like orthodox Jews 
they avoided the name of God in their records. There appears 
to be little false piety. 

There was, however, deep concern for the well-being of each 
Friend. Discipline appears to have been strict, and rare was the 
monthly meeting session during the first century in which some 
backslider was not called to account for his conduct. Marriages 
were of extraordinary importance for the stability of family life 
and the proper rearing of children. A request for marriage had 
to be brought to the monthly meeting twice to allow investiga- 
tion as to the "clearness" of both parties. Being so far removed 
from their places of origin, it was always possible that a spouse 
had been left behind somewhere. Marriage was not considered 
to be just between the two parties, but also included the two 
families and the entire monthly meeting. It was not to be en- 
tered into lightly, for it was above all a religious commitment. A 
marriage before a magistrate, or a minister of another denomi- 
nation, constituted a violation of discipline. 

Travel in the ministry required a committee of investigation 
which determined the fitness and good reputation of the peti- 
tioner. Those seeking a certificate of removal to present to 
another meeting even had their financial accounts examined to 



see if they were delinquent on any debts. Minutes were some- 
times held up until a Friend had settled his financial affairs. 

There was much concern for those who went West — "West" 
sometimes being no farther than Westfield in Surry County, 
North Carolina. Were there hostile Indians? Was there fertile 
land and adequate water? Sometimes Friends were dispatched 
to investigate, or in the case of areas beyond the Appalachians, 
the nearest Friends meeting was asked to report. Concern did 
not end even after emigration, for again the new monthly 
meeting was requested to report back on the material and 
spiritual well-being of the departed Friends who had settled 
within the limits of their meeting. 

We are dealing with a moment in the settlement and civilizing 
of the continent. Mary Edith Hinshaw relates the interesting 
role of Ann Jessup, a minister from New Garden, in this pro- 

Around 1790, a Friends minister from New Garden, 
Ann Jessup, went to England and Scotland for almost two 
years. She was excited about the beauty and quality of 
English plants, flowers and fruits. Before coming back to 
America, she collected many varieties of seeds and bulbs, 
and also cuttings from grape vines and fruit trees. She 
brought them home with her. 

Ann Jessup employed a man named Abijah Pinson to do 
grafting and planting. Her orchard, located a short dis- 
tance north of New Garden, was said to be the first big 
orchard in this part of the country. Later, Abijah Pinson 
moved to the Friends settlement at Westfield, in Surry 
County, North Carolina, and started an orchard business 
there. He sold thousands of graftings to people moving 
west and to people living in the mountains of western 
North Carolina. 1 

There is ample evidence that New Garden Friends, for all 
their concern for piety and moral living, were human beings 

1 Minutes for service in the ministry were issued for Ann Jessup by New 
Garden in 1789 (7-25) and 1792 (1-28). In 1799 she was permitted to "re- 
move" to York, Pa. See also Seth B. Hinshaw, Walk Cheerfully Friends, p. 34, for 
interesting related matter. 



subject to the weaknesses of the flesh. With surprising frequen- 
cy, women Friends reported to the Men's Meeting that one of 
their number had given birth to a "base-born child." Illegiti- 
macy is no monopoly of our time. Such a case was reported to 
the meeting in 1761, although it was not until 1805 that a man 
was condemned for fathering a child out of wedlock. Some- 
times errant Friends, men and women, were let off with a public 
confession. Others were disowned, but at least some were read- 
mitted later. The records sound more stern than tender. 

Reference was made to conditions imposed for issuing min- 
utes for making religious visits to distant monthly meetings, but 
this was no deterrant to Ann Jessup, William Hunt, and many 
others. It is absolutely amazing how much going and coming is 
reported in the early days of New Garden Meeting, long before 
railroads or any other mechanical means of transportation 
existed. Scarcely had they settled in North Carolina, when 
Friends returned to Virginia, Pennsylvania or Nantucket to visit 
or on business. A few remigrated. Others went West or South 
on religious or family visits, or to migrate. New Garden has 
always been on the move, and the railroads, highways and 
airports of later times have simply accelerated the process. 


The War of Independence 

The Quaker peace testimony was asserted early in colonial 
Carolina when Friends refused to take part in the wars against 
the Indians. In 1695, Quaker John Archdale became governor 
of North Carolina and notably improved the treatment of the 
Indians. It was during the Archdale governorship that the 
Assembly passed a law exempting Quakers from serving in the 
militia because of their conscientious scruples. They were, how- 
ever, to pay compensation for this exemption. The act stated 
that the Quakers had "allways been in all other civil matters 
found obedient to the government." 1 The militia was, in a sense, 
something like our modern National Guard, and despite the 
law there was often local pressure to "attend muster." Some 
Friends did so, but this was regularly condemned by the month- 
ly meeting, and was a disownable offense. There are three 
muster grounds on Fred Hughes's map of Guilford County in 
1800, the nearest being Bell's Muster Ground north of the 
Buffalo Presbyterian Church. Friends were strongly inclined to 
respect established authority, but their pacifism forbade them 
to join in the movement for independence from England, since 
it tended to become violent at an early stage. 

As independence became an issue, the larger New Garden 
family wrestled with the problem of challenging misdirected 
government policy. On October 10, 1776, a meeting in the 
Deep River Community appointed William Cox and William 

1 Archdale MSS #48, and Journal of the House of Commons, p. 47, cited by 
Henry G. Hood, The Public Career of John Archdale (1642-ijij), N.C. Friends 
Historical Society, 1976, p. 20. 



Masset to attend a mass meeting at Maddocks' Mill near Hills- 
borough to "examine judiciously whether the free men in this 
country labor under any abuses of power, and in particular to 
examine the public tax and inform themselves of every particu- 
lar thereof, by what law and for what purpose it was levied, in 
order to remove some jealousies out of people's minds." 2 

Among those having 'jealousies" in their minds were New 
Garden members William Norton, who joined the Regulators in 
1767, and George Mills, who joined in 1769. Both were prompt- 
ly disowned. The charge was that these Friends had joined with 
those who sought to "regulate public affairs with a gun." 3 

Sensing the approaching conflict, North Carolina Friends 
petitioned the House of Burgesses (the assembly) to exempt 
them from all military service in 1770. 4 This was granted. In 
response, a Yearly Meeting committee delivered a pledge of 
loyalty to Governor Josiah Martin and King George III later in 
that year. They wished the governor success in restoring good 
order and peace to "this Distressed Province." 5 It should be 
understood that Quakers were not alone in this sentiment. 
There were many non-Quakers in Guilford County who as- 
serted their loyalty to the Crown during those years. In 1775, 
one hundred seventeen citizens of Guilford signed an address 
to Governor Martin pledging their loyalty. John Fields, who 
had been one of the Regulators, headed the list of the signers. 6 

The immediate troubles of the Revolutionary War came to 
New Garden Friends as that historic conflict was nearing its 
close. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse, pitting the American 
forces of General Nathanael Greene against British General 
Cornwallis and his troops, took place nearby on March 15, 
1781. This event profoundly affected Friends. Indeed, Algie 
Newlin has established that there was a minor Battle of New 

2 Eli Caruthers, A Sketch of the Life and Character of the Rev. David Caldwell. 

3 Norton: NGMMM, Aug. 29, 1767; Mills ibid. Jan 28, '69. (Greensboro, 
N.C. 1842, p. 109.) 

4 N.CY.M.M. Feb. 23, 1771; Clark, State Records of N.C. XXIV, p. 117. 

5 N.C.Y.M.M. October 25, 1771, Contains copy of pledge. 

6 Robert O. DeMond, The Loyalists in N.C. During the Revolution, Duke Uni- 
versity Press, 1940, pp. 49, 50. 



Garden, 7 thirty or forty minutes of it around the meeting house 
itself. As Colonel Banastre Tarleton led an advance party of the 
British Army, which had camped near Deep River Meeting 
House the night before, toward Guilford Court house, he was 
met by Colonel Henry Lee of the American Army near the 
present Jefferson Club on New Garden Road. The second 
encounter was at the present corner of Friendly Avenue and 
New Garden Road. The Lee party was an advance group from 
Greene's main army, out to delay the Cornwallis forces. In this 
battle, or series of skirmishes, which proceeded up New Garden 
Road, Newlin calculates there were 617 Americans and 842 
British (including American Tories and Hessians), and cites 
evidence that it continued for three hours. It was during this 
time that Colonel Tarleton had two fingers shot off. He had his 
hand dressed by some anonymous person and returned to the 
battle with his right arm in a sling. It may have been the mother 
of Elijah Coffin who dressed the wound in her own home, for 
she did just that for an unnamed soldier. 8 

As the battle raged around them, Friends endured. Addison 
Coffin says that a number of soldiers were killed near the 
meeting house and adjacent roads. Among these was Captain 
James Tate, and he was buried in the New Garden Burying 
Ground. In the afternoon, the great encounter at Guilford 
Court House, with its roaring cannon, could be heard through- 
out the community. Elijah Coffin reported that "It has been 
uniformly spoken of as a day of great solemnity and awful- 
ness." 9 

In the aftermath of the terrible events of March 15, New 
Garden Friends faced the task of burying the dead, who now lie 
in the center of the cemetery, and caring for an overwhelming 
number of wounded. 10 Both Cornwallis and Greene abandoned 
their wounded, as the former headed toward Wilmington with 
Greene in pursuit. Cornwallis left at least 64, and perhaps as 

7 Newlin, Algie I. The Battle of New Garden, N.C., 1977. 

8 Ibid., pp. 34, 35. 

9 Charles Coffin, The Life of Elijah Coffin: With Reminiscences, Cincinnati, 
1863, pp. 11, 12. Cited by Newlin, op. cit., pp. 28-30. 

10 Newlin, op. cit., pp. 31-43. 



many as 134. The number left by Green brought the total to 
more than 250, by Algie Newlin's estimate. They were cared for 
in an old two-story log house at the corner of New Garden and 
Ballinger Roads, and at New Garden Meeting House. In addi- 
tion, an unknown number were cared for in nearby Quaker 
homes. Some of them were carriers of smallpox, and Richard 
Williams died while caring for some of them. Nathan Hunt, at 
that time a youth of 21, volunteered for nursing duty and also 
contracted smallpox, but survived. 

There is strong evidence that New Garden Friends remained 
faithful to their peace testimony during this time of troubles. It 
is true that there is a story of a New Garden Quaker who was so 
enraged when British foragers plundered his farm that he 
volunteered for Greene's army for the day, explaining to his 
wife that he was going hunting. Later he was unable to explain 
why he had come home empty-handed. Newlin, however, has 
discovered that this "Friend" did not join Friends until some- 
time after the Battle of Guilford Court House. 

Be that as it may, Friends were severely put upon by the 
foragers of both armies. When General Greene appealed to 
New Garden Friends to care for the wounded (which they were 
already doing), they complained that they were "ill able to assist 
as much as we would be glad to, as the Americans have lain 
much upon us, and of late the British have plundered and 
entirely broken up many of us . . ." Yet, they reiterated their 
intention to help "by the assistance of Providence." However, in 
response to Greene's appeal to support the rebel cause, they 
replied, "we have as yet made no distinction as to party or cause 
— and as we have none to commit our cause but to God alone, 
but hold it the duty of true Christians, at all times to assist the 
distressed." 11 

Three years later, in 1784, the meeting house which had 
served as a hospital for the soldiers wounded at the Battle of 
Guilford Court House was "laid waist by fire." It was not until 
1791 that the great new meeting house was completed. It was 
designed to serve the annual sessions of the North Carolina 
Yearly Meeting, as well as the regular meetings of New Garden 

u Ibid., p. 42. 

The 1 79 1 meeting house stood until 1876. The Revolutionary oak in fore- 
ground fell in 1959. 

Meeting. This is the familiar building appearing in many 
sketches and etchings, and was the subject of John Collins well- 
known water color of 1 869. Since it stood for nearly a hundred 
years, there are also many photographs. 

In 1845, a British visitor penned this description of the old 
meeting house: "A large, solitary, boarded building . . . capable 
of containing fifteen hundred to two thousand persons. It is in a 
lovely situation, with no other house in sight, upon the verge of 
a forest ... A rail fence protects it from the numerous hogs 
who disturb the solitary stillness of the place by their constant 
and unwearied rooting among the dry and sere leaves . . ," 12 

The Revolutionary War ended eight years before the new 
meeting house was completed, replacing the one destroyed by 
fire. Friends had been neutral in that conflict, and as soon as 
peace and order were restored they became peaceable citizens 
of the new Republic. Indeed, democracy was very congenial to 
this fellowship which believed there was "that of God" in every- 
one. They were especially reassured by the inspiring assertion 
of the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created 
equal," and they took it very seriously. However, that little 
phrase proved to be a trap for them. 

12 Anonymous, The Friend, London, 1846, Cited by Henry Cadbury, The 
Church in the Wilderness, Greensboro, N.C., 1948, pp. 9-11. 



The effort to make Thomas Jefferson's brave words about 
equality a reality in American life brought on a confrontation 
between North Carolina Quakers and the new government. 
From the beginning, Friends had been commissioned by 
George Fox to "walk cheerfully over the world, answering to 
that of God in every man." This clearly included Indians and 
Turks, but it was not until much later that it was understood to 
include, as well, black Africans who were in bondage. By the 
time of Independence, North Carolina Friends were well on the 
way to recognizing this fact. John Woolman had brought his 
anti-slavery message to North Carolina in 1757, at which time 
he directed a message to New Garden Friends, which said in 

When slaves are purchased to do our labour numerous 
difficulties attend it. To rational creatures bondage is un- 
easy, and frequently occasions sourness and discontent in 
them. Thus people and their children are many times 
encompassed with vexations, which arise from their ap- 
plying wrong methods to get a living. 1 

Woolman goes on to say that he has heard that many Friends 
at New Garden and Cane Creek do not own slaves, and encour- 
ages them to keep clear of the practice. Friends at New Garden 
were already in touch with the growing Quaker anxiety about 
slavery, for most of them had come from Pennsylvania and New 
England. The Germantown Protest against slavery had reached 

l J. G. Whittier, Ed., The Journal of John Woolman, London, 1900, p. 96. 
Woolman did not actually visit New Garden but sent this message. 



Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in 1688, and that body had "testi- 
fied against slavery" in 1696. New England Yearly Meeting had 
made slaveholding a disownable offense in 1715. It was only 
natural, then, that much of the objection to slavery in North 
Carolina Yearly Meeting came from the Western Quarterly 
Meeting, to which New Garden belonged at the time. 

Within New Garden itself, an application for membership 
from one Obadiah Harris was rejected in 1767 for "seling a 
poor negro slave." Six months later, Friend Harris had been 
convinced of the error of his ways and read a paper in meeting 
condemning his conduct, after which his certificate of member- 
ship from Cedar Creek, Virginia, Meeting was accepted. 2 

In 1784, Bolin Clark, of Toms Creek Preparative Meeting, 
was charged in New Garden Meeting with "seling his Negroes 
after he had manumated them." A committee, which included 
William Coffin and Nathan Hunt, was appointed to "labour 
with him in Loving tenderness in order to bring him to a sight 
and sence of the Evil of his Conduct." He later agreed to 
redeem his slaves. 3 

When the Yearly Meeting, largely at the urging of Western 
Quarterly Meeting, urged North Carolina Friends to be more 
humane in their treatment of Negroes and to look after their 
instruction and moral training, New Garden responded favor- 
ably. When manumission was urged, New Garden was in en- 
thusiastic accord. The meeting was active in monitoring the care 
of freed Negroes who had been assigned to technical ownership 
of the Yearly Meeting after 1808. 

The great problem Friends faced in North Carolina when 
they wished to free their slaves was that the State severely 
restricted manumission and refused to allow freed Negroes to 
continue to live within the State. One effort to enlarge the 
freedom of the slaves was the organization of the North Caro- 
lina Manumission Society. It was organized by Charles Osborne, 
a Quaker minister from Tennessee, 4 at Centre Friends Meeting 
on July 19, 1816; six of the delegates to that organization 
meeting were from New Garden. The delegation consisted of 

2 NGMMM, January 31, 1767; June 27, 1767. 

3 Ibid., September 29, 1784. 

4 Actually, Chas. Osborne was a birthright member of Centre Meeting. 



Benjamin Hiatt, Tristram Coffin, Bethuel Coffin, Isaac Gard- 
ner, Henry Bellenger and Paul Macy. 5 The society was active for 
eighteen years, and over that period 1,455 delegates were ap- 
pointed to its sessions. Most, but not all, were Quakers. 

This group declared its adherence to the Declaration of In- 
dependence, citing the ringing assertion that "all men are 
created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with 
certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and 
the pursuit of happiness." They went on to point out that "the 
command of the great father of Mankind is we do unto others 
as we would be done by, — and that the human race however 
varied in color are Justly entitled to Freedom, and that it is the 
duty of Nations as well as Individuals, enjoying the blessings of 
freedom to remove this dishonor [slavery] of the Christian 
character from among them, . . ." 6 

Among the names of those active in this noble cause was that 
of Nathan Hunt, son of William Hunt, and always present in a 
worthy cause. One of the acts of the society was to send dele- 
gates to other denominations to solicit their cooperation in the 
manumission effort. New Garden members Benajah Hiatt and 
Jeremiah Hubbard were among those who carried out this 
mission, reporting that the Presbyterians and Moravians had 
received their message favorably. New presidents of the society 
gave impressive inaugural addresses. In 1824, Aaron Coffin, of 
the New Garden family, delivered such an address in which he 
pointed out that the iron rod of tyranny was the bitter fruit of 
the African race in the land of the free. He also referred to 
Haiti as a haven of freedom for the blacks. 7 

Nathan Hunt proposed to the society that it send a petition to 
Congress proposing the end of slavery in the district of Colum- 
bia as a symbolic act for the states and before the world. In this 
the society concurred. The same petition requested the resettle- 
ment of Negroes in Liberia under the "General Welfare" clause 
of the constitution. 8 

5 H. M. Wagstaff (ed.)< Minutes of the N.C. Manumission Society, 1816- 
1834, James Sprunt Historical Publications, XXII (1934), nos. 1 8c 2, Chapel Hill, 

P- 13- • 

6 Ibid., p. 39. 

7 Ibid., p. 73. 

8 Ibid., pp. 147, 153-155. 



The Little Brick Schoolhouse, 1812, once 
held a school for slaves. 

In 1826, the Meeting for Sufferings of North Carolina Yearly 
Meeting assisted by the North Carolina Manumission Society, 
sent 119 freed slaves to freedom in Haiti on the good ship Sally 
Ann. Vestal Coffin, of New Garden, was appointed by the 
Manumission Society to assist in this project. It involved pro- 
viding transportation to New Bern, clothing and food for the 
journey, and basic tools for those who were going to settle in a 
strange land. 9 

This same Vestal Coffin, with his cousin Levi Coffin, briefly 
conducted a school for slaves during the summer of 182 1 in the 
Little Brick Schoolhouse at New Garden Meeting. Because 
other slaveholders objected, arguing that literate slaves would 
be hard to manage, the owners withdrew their slaves after only 
one summer. Nevertheless, Aaron Coffin proposed that the 
Manumission Society establish such a school in 1824, an< ^ tne 
society agreed, but either from timidity or lethargy, it was never 
done. 10 

Despite its brevity, the school for slaves made a lasting im- 
pression on the minds of Friends and others in the community. 
In his Memoirs, Levi Coffin recalls the prayer of "Uncle Frank" 
at the opening of the school. He describes him as a gray-haired 
old slave preacher "who had all his life been kept in ignorance, 
but his heart was full of the love of God." He remembered the 
prayer this way (spelling has been standardized): 

9 Ibid., p. 107. 

10 Ibid., pp. 62, 63. 



Uncle Frank's Prayer 

I pray that the good Master Lord will put it into the 
Negroes' hearts to learn to read the Good Book. Oh Lord, 
make the letters in our spelling books big and plain, and 
make our eyes bright and shining, and make our hearts big 
and strong for to learn. Make our minds sharp and keen; 
yes, Lord, as sharp as a double-edged sword, so that we can 
see clean through the book. Oh, Heavenly Father, we 
thank Thee for making our Masters willing to let us come 
to this school, and oh, Lord, do bless these dear young men 
you has made willing to come here and learn us poor slave 
Negroes to read the blessed word from the mouth of God. 
Oh, Lord, teach us to be good servants, and touch our 
Master's hearts and make them tender, so they will not lay 
the whips on our bare backs, and you, Great Master, shall 
have all the glory and praise. Amen. 

At the conclusion of the prayer, Coffin tells us, the gathered 
slaves "broke out with one of their plantation songs or hymns, 
led by Uncle Frank; a sort of prayer in rhyme, in which the 
same words occurred over and over again." 11 

Another effort to do something about slavery was the Ameri- 
can Colonization Society. In 1826, the Yearly Meeting united 
with a recommendation of the Meeting for Sufferings that free 
Negroes be sent to countries outside the United States, except 
for those with family entanglements, who should be sent to free 
states. Vestal Coffin had already helped with the voyage of the 
Sally Ann to Haiti. However, there was controversy within the 
Manumission Society, and within the Yearly Meeting, almost 
from the beginning. Sending Afro- Americans to Haiti or Africa 
constituted exile. Hugh Moore repeats a story, told by his 
grandfather, of how a Jubilee Day was declared in a certain 
Quaker community in eastern North Carolina to announce that 
Quaker-held Negroes, who were technically free, were to be 
sent to the Free Republic of Haiti. One huge black man, far 
from being pleased by the prospect, lunged at his Quaker 
master and threw him to the ground, and held him there until 

11 Levi Coffin, Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the Reputed President of the Under- 
ground Railroad; etc., Cincinnati, 1876, p. 70. 



Levi Coffin organized an "anti-slavery 
band" at New Garden, was president of 
the Underground Railroad. 

he extracted a promise that he would not be sent to Haiti. 12 

At New Garden, Levi Coffin was one of several who never 
accepted the idea of colonization. As early as 1817, he and his 
New Garden group withdrew from the Manumission Society 
because they were convinced that slaveholding members were 
interested only in ridding themselves of bothersome, obstreper- 
ous slaves. Now alienated from the organization, Levi and his 
friends formed their own "antislavery band" at New Garden. 
This group met for several years, but it was then disbanded 
because most of its members had migrated to Indiana and 
Ohio. 13 

But Levi Coffin was a person to be reckoned with. In his 
Reminiscences, he says that as early as 1820 he became convinced 
that because of the great sinfulness of slavery it was his Chris- 
tian duty to help any fugitive slave seeking freedom. Stemming 
from Nantucket stock, he was reared in a home which bore a 
strong antislavery testimony. The Coffins did their own work, 
and fugitives sought out the Coffin home. Among the many 
gripping stories in the Reminiscences is that of Ede, a black 
woman who belonged to the eminent local educator, Dr. David 

12 Conversation with Hugh Moore, Greensboro, N.C., 1981. 

13 Levi Coffin, op. cit., pp. 75, 76. 

Coffin home at Fountain City, Indiana, was refuge for runaway slaves. It is a 
museum today. Courtesy of Jack Phelps, Levi Coffin home. 

Caldwell. A daughter of Dr. Caldwell was married to a Presby- 
terian minister and lived a hundred miles away, and the good 
Dr. Caldwell decided to give Ede to her as a gift. When Ede 
heard of the plan and realized that she would be separated from 
her husband and children, she fled from her home on modern 
Hobbs Road and hid in what is now known as the College 
Woods. With her small baby in her arms, she came to the Coffin 
home, on modern Friendly Avenue, in the darkness of night. 

"Father was liable to fine and imprisonment if she was dis- 
covered in our home," wrote Levi, "yet we could not turn here 
away. The dictates of humanity came in opposition to the law of 
the land, and we ignored the law." 14 It should be noted that Dr. 
Caldwell cancelled his plans and took Ede back after young Levi 
went to plead her case with him. 

Levi's cousin, Addison Coffin, was also active in helping slaves 
who were running away from their masters. Because of its clan- 
destine nature, the so-called Underground Railroad continues 

14 Ibid., p. 25. 



to be something of a phantom, yet the involvement of the 
Coffins is clear, as is also that of other Friends in the New 
Garden-Jamestown area. The woods behind the Coffin home, 
extending back into the College Woods, are said to have been 
frequent hiding places for fugitive slaves, from which they 
emerged at night, as did Ede. Indeed, this area came to be 
known as the North Carolina terminus of the Underground 
Railroad network. Levi Coffin, himself, eventually emigrated to 
Indiana, and because of his continued work with fugitive slaves 
there, and in Cincinnati, Ohio, became known as the President 
of the Underground Railroad. 15 His home in Fountain City is 
preserved to this day as a historic site, once a haven of fugitive 

There was also cooperation from New Garden Friends in the 
legal movement of free Negroes from North Carolina to Ohio 
and Indiana. They went by wagon and were taken by "con- 
ductors" employed by the Yearly Meeting. As in the case of the 
Underground Railroad, the point of departure for the long trip 
was New Garden, North Carolina. Those coming from more 
easterly parts of the state converged on Guilford County and 
then travelled together to free territory. This was not a "wilder- 
ness road," but was actually well travelled. There is an undated 
"Bill of the Road to Richmond" in the Guilford College Friends 
Historical Collection which begins at New Garden, North Caro- 
lina, passes through what is now West Virginia to Gallipolis, 
Ohio, and terminates in Richmond, Indiana, a distance of 481 
miles. This was an established stage-coach route. 

New Garden, as the southern terminus, was certainly in- 
volved in the movement of hundreds of blacks to freedom. 
Among the conductors, we can identify Joseph Hunt, Asa Fol- 
ger, Joseph Stafford, Joseph Harris, and Robert Peele as prob- 
ably having New Garden connections. Vestal Coffin, as the 
presumed organizer of the Underground Railroad, must also 
have had a hand in this "above-ground" activity. 

Of course, New Garden Meeting shared with the rest of the 
state, and the rest of the South, the general effects of the slave 
system and the slave controversy. However, members of this 

15 Ibid. Also in abundant literature on the Underground Railroad. 



meeting were never as much involved in slave-holding as those 
in the East, but the iniquity of the system weighed upon them 
all. It was not only the Quakers who were restless. Benjamin 
Hedrick, a non-Quaker opposed to slavery, was dismissed from 
the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
for his views. A native of Salisbury, he said in his defense before 
the University 

Of my neighbors, friends and kindred, nearly half left 
the state since I was old enough to remember. Many is the 
time I have stood beside the loaded emigrant wagon, and 
given the parting hand to those on whose face I was never 
to look again. They were going to seek new homes in the 
free West, knowing as they did, that free and slave labor 
could not exist in the same community. 16 

In 1849, Emory D- Coffin wrote from North Carolina to his 
cousin Levi, who then lived in Cincinnati, asking if he would 
advise him to go west, to which he received a strong affirmative 
answer. It would be best, Levi advised his cousin, to turn his 
back on "that dark land of oppression where the Tyrant's Rod is 
heard, and where the cries of the poor slave are continually 
ascending." 17 

The Raleigh Register reported that sixty-nine members of the 
Society of Friends had left Randolph County for Indiana in the 
fall of 1832. The editor observed that with the many Quakers 
leaving Guilford, Wayne and other counties, the state was being 
deprived of valuable citizens it could ill afford to lose. 18 

The minutes of New Garden Meeting are filled with certifi- 
cates of removal during this period. Stephen Weeks gives a 
figure of 245 persons representing 100 families and 83 single 
persons, who left New Garden between 1801 and 1866. 19 Most 
of these went to Indiana and Ohio, with an occasional certificate 

16 J. G. Roulhac Hamilton, "Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick," James Sprunt 
Historical Publications, X, Chapel Hill, 1910, p. 14. 

17 Levi Coffin to Emory C. Coffin, Cannon-Coffin Drawer, File 10, Friends 
Historical Collection, Guilford College. 

18 Hugh T. Lefler, North Carolina, the History of a Southern State, (Rev. 
Ed.), Chapel Hill, N.C., 1963, I, p. 

19 Stephen B. Weeks, op. cit., table p. 33of. 



for Iowa or Kansas. So many went to Newport-Fountain City in 
Indiana, just north of Richmond, that a new New Garden 
Meeting was established there. The old meeting house still 
stands there, and the headstones in the cemetery bear mute 
testimony to the North Carolina families who settled there and 
created a fourth New Garden. 20 

The loss of so many people from the New Garden Meeting in 
North Carolina is reflected in a number of ways. For one thing, 
attendance at monthly meetings for business lagged. In Colo- 
nial times, committees reported punctually, or were repri- 
manded and new members appointed. By the August meeting 
in i860, however, there were three committees, no less, who 
"not being present," made no reports when called. Friends 
could no longer afford to be so strict in enforcing discipline. 
When Nathan H. Coffin acknowledged in January of i860 that 
he had "accomplished his marriage contrary to Friends Disci- 
pline," he was dealt with tenderly. "After a time of delibera- 
tion," the meeting decided to retain him in membership in the 
hope he would improve! S. Y. Edwards was accorded similar 
treatment. 21 It is an ill wind, as they say, that blows no one good. 
Or, perhaps, Friends' former rigidity had simply mellowed. 

In any case, New Garden Meeting entered the Civil War 
period depleted in numbers and humbled in spirit. Besides, it 
was unable to join in a cause it had long since repudiated. There 
were hard times ahead. 

20 New Garden Friends Church (established 1811), a historical pamphlet pub- 
lished by the church, Fountain City, Indiana, 1973. 

21 NGMMM, January 25, i860. 


The Ordeal of the Civil War 

When North Carolina Yearly Meeting met in annual session at 
New Garden on "Third-day morning, the 6th," in i860, the 
occasion was so solemn that the men's and women's meetings 
met jointly. It was called as a special session for worship and 
prayer that God ''would turn the hearts of rulers and people, to 
righteousness, to justice and mercy, and that our present form 
of Civil Government, with its attendant blessings, may be pre- 
served in peace, and all be overruled to his glory." 1 

The next year, the Yearly Meeting Minute of Advice further 
echoed the solemnity of the times: "This is a time of peculiar 
trial; but let none be discouraged. As our country becomes 
distracted and torn by strife, let us as a people unite more 
closely. Though iniquity abound, let not our love wax cold, but 
rather increase, till, like Abraham, we may be prepared to make 
any sacrifice which may be called for at our hands." 2 By then, 
Fort Sumter had already been fired upon, and the country was 
preparing for the great holocaust of the Civil War. 

As was the case with the Revolutionary War, the New Garden 
minutes only rarely make mention of the conflict. In 1863, the 
monthly meeting appointed Joseph Thornburg and John Rus- 
sell to assist the clerk in making out certificates for applicants 
who might apply for exemption from military service under a 
hoped-for act of the Confederate Congress. 3 The Yearly Meet- 
ing of 1861 had also sent a delegation to Richmond, Virginia, to 

1 YMM, i860. 

2 Ibid., i860. 

3 NGMMM, April 29, 1863. 



beg the Confederate Congress for consideration of Friends' 
scruples against fighting. John Carter, and New Garden's 
Nereus Mendenhall, carried out this mission, visiting the Con- 
federate Secretary of War. It was 1864, however, before the 
Confederacy gave its official approval to farming and certain 
other types of civilian work as a substitute for military service. 4 
Nevertheless, much such alternate service was tolerated on the 
local level, notably on the George C. Mendenhall establishments 
at Jamestown. 

Katherine Hoskins has suggested, however, that such activi- 
ties bore little direct meaning for New Garden Meeting. She 
wrote that by the time of the Civil War, only nine young men of 
conscription age remained in the meeting. Two of these hired 
substitutes, six moved west, and one gave in to threats and 
joined the Confederate Army. This latter act brought the young 
man immediate disownment. The minutes do actually record 
only one disownment for that period, that of Andrew Stanley in 
1862 for "volunteering as a soldier." 5 

One thing that occurred during the Civil War was that non- 
Quaker pacifists, and/or persons opposed to slavery, often re- 
quested membership in Friends meetings to avail themselves of 
the exemption that was granted — or expected — from Con- 
gress. Patrick Sowle asserts that over 600 young men in North 
Carolina became "War Quakers," as they were called. 6 It is 
difficult to identify such persons in the New Garden minutes, 
and to do so would constitute an act of judgment in any case. 
There are six names, however, which suggest such classification. 
Of these, one withdrew before his request was acted upon, and 
another was disowned in 1866 for non-attendance at meeting. 7 
Who is to judge the sincerity of the War Quakers? Some suf- 
fered for their convictions and won a place in Fernando Cart- 
land's roster of Southern Heroes. One Seth B. Laughlin, a con- 
vinced Friend, died in a Confederate prison for refusing to 

4 The Confederate Conscription Acts of 1862 established several categories 
of exemptions, not including Quaker religious objectors. 

5 NGMMM January 19, 1862. 

6 Patrick Sowle, "The Quaker Conscript in Confederate North Carolina," 
Quaker History, vol. 46, no. 2, Autumn 1967, pp. 99, 100. (Haverford, Pa.) 

7 NGMMM July 27, 1864; May 30, 1866. 



fight. 8 

In this connection, there is an amusing postscript to Cart- 
land's book in the New Garden minutes. In 1905, Isaac Harvey 
appeared before the meeting to declare that with respect to 
Cartland's Southern Heroes, he "did not doubt the Lord's care 
and faithfulness, nor yield to the demands of the authorities, 
nor accept bounty money, was not 'disowned by his meeting,' 
neither was he 'killed in battle.' " He testified that he was "a 
birth-right member of this Monthly Meeting held in good 
esteem." Obviously, he had also not been killed in battle. De- 
spite his protests to the author, the third edition of the book still 
carried the story. The monthly meeting minuted its support of 
Harvey's contention. 9 

A later section will deal with education, but the events sur- 
rounding New Garden Boarding School during the Civil War 
require comment here. By the time the war began, the school 
was already a quarter of a century old. Persons associated with 
the meeting, notably Nathan Hunt (who is honored as the 
founder of Guilford College) had been in the forefront of the 
effort to establish and maintain it. The faculty were mostly 
members of New Garden Meeting and the students were re- 
quired to attend meetings for worship there. Consequently, the 
fate of the two was closely tied together. The Civil War spelled 
hard times for the school. Indeed, the real crisis came just prior 
to the war at the Yearly Meeting of i860, when a special commit- 
tee recommended to the Board of Trustees that the school be 
closed and the property be sold to meet overwhelming debts. 

Happily, the trustees rejected the proposal of the committee 
when Jonathan Cox offered to take over the school and manage 
it. Friends in other yearly meetings, when apprised of the diffi- 
culties, rallied around and sent aid to the weakened North 
Carolina Yearly Meeting in its efforts to save the school. Nereus 
Mendenhall joined Jonathan Cox, and together they brought 
the school through the Civil War. New Garden Boarding School 
has the distinction of being the only school of its kind in North 

8 Cartland, Fernando G., Southern Heroes, Cambridge, 1895, 211-12. His use 
of the name Seth W. Loflin is clearly a reference to the same person. 

9 NGMMM January 28, 1905. Cartland, Ibid., p. 223. 



Carolina that never closed its doors throughout the war. 10 

Nereus Mendenhall merges easily as one of the giants among 
Friends in North Carolina. Although a member of Deep River 
Meeting, his life was mingled with Friends at New Garden as 
well. A graduate of Haverford College, he taught at New Gar- 
den Boarding School, and then attended Jefferson Medical 
College in Philadelphia, where he completed a degree in medi- 
cine. However, he found himself temperamentally unsuited to 
the practice of medicine, and, taking up engineering, helped 
build the North Carolina Railroad. His continuing interest in 
education, however, brought him back to New Garden Board- 
ing School. 

A dramatic moment in the life of Nereus Mendenhall came 
just after the war when he was given an opportunity to go to 
Minnesota to improve his professional and financial opportuni- 
ties. His years of hard work and sacrifice seemed to justify such 
a move, and the family packed all its worldly goods, bought the 
train tickets, and were ready to travel, when the spirit gave 
pause. His daughter, Mary Mendenhall Hobbs, says that her 
father turned to his wife, and said: "Oriana, if I feel that the 
Lord requires me to stay, is thee willing to give up going and 
stay here?" 

"Certainly," replied faithful Oriana, "if that is thy feeling, I 
am satisfied to stay." 

And stay they did. Dorothy Gilbert Thorne says that New 
Garden Boarding School-Guilford College are a long shadow of 
this remarkable and dedicated man. 

Indication of Nereus Mendenhall's support of the peace testi- 
mony was the call made on him by a military officer at one 
juncture during the war. His daughter relates the incident in 
this way: "After finding Dr. Mendenhall, he (the officer) hung 
sheepishly about, evidently afraid to tell his business. Finally 
summoning courage, he said, "Mr. Mendenhall, I have come to 
warn you to muster at . . ." 

" 'It makes no difference where it is to be, I shall not come,' 
he said, with all his indignation for the cause concentrating itself 
in his look and voice, which so scared the man that he went away 

10 Op. Cit., Chapter III. 



without telling him where it was to be, which of course was not a 
legal 'warning.' No notice, however, was ever taken of the epi- 
sode, and he went on his way unchallenged thereafter." 11 

There was little joy in the white community in general at the 
end of the war that brought defeat and despair to the Confed- 
eracy and to North Carolina. Yet, Friends could take some 
satisfaction that their crusade for their brothers with dark skin 
had at last come to fruition. Over at Jamestown, Delphina 
Mendenhall celebrated the event with a poem: 

Four long, sad, dark and dreary years 
We heard the raging Red Sea Roar, 

The awful Sea of Blood and Tears — 
Its surges stilled, we tread the shore . . . 

Free! Free as the mountain breezes are 
Free as the deep's blue, bounding wave 

Free as the beaming of the star — 
Free from the cradle to the grave. 12 

For New Garden Meeting, it was a time to take stock and heal 
the wounds of war. In the burying ground, by now regarded as 
ancient, there were reminders of war to add to the silent graves 
of the Revolutionary War. There were Confederate soldiers 
buried there, and Lyndon Hobbs is our authority that at least 
one Union soldier rests there. According to Hobbs, one Thad- 
deus Fletcher, of Ohio, died in the home of Phoebe Hobbs and 
was buried in the New Garden Graveyard in an unmarked 
grave. Thus, the old cemetery bears silent witness to the Quaker 
belief in the brotherhood of all: Americans and their British 
enemies, Confederate soldiers and a fallen man in blue, all lying 
down in eternal rest together. 13 

11 "Nereus Mendenhall," (Guilford College) Collegian VI, p. 95. Gilbert, Op. 
Cit. 104, 5. 

12 Box 20, Delphina E. Mendenhall's Poetry, Friends Hist. Collection. (Selec- 

13 L. L. Hobbs, Greensboro Daily News, 1931. 


Post-War Education and 

Two names stand out among Friends in North Carolina in the 
post-war period: Francis T. King of Baltimore, and Joseph 
Moore, of Indiana. Francis King had represented Baltimore 
Friends in the generous effort to save New Garden Boarding 
School in 1 860, and he kept up his concern for North Carolina 
Friends throughout the war. The Guilford College Friends 
Historical Collection boasts a pass for him to go through the 
Union battle lines to the South, bearing the signature of "A. 
Lincoln." Following the war, he stepped up his interest and 
established the Baltimore Association to help Friends and 
others in the state who were then in a prostrate condition. 1 

It has been estimated that membership in Friends meetings in 
North and South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia once reached 
a peak of 25,000, but due to emigration and other causes it was 
far reduced by the mid-nineteenth century. By the end of the 
war, estimates run between 1,000 and 2,ooo. 2 It was a mere 
remnant. The focus of the Baltimore Association was on the 
reconstruction of the Friends educational system, and on self- 
help in agriculture. New Garden Boarding School, which had 
managed to remain open all through the war, was nevertheless 
in poor condition. The Association restored it to good physical 
condition, and by 1866 there were no debts. In that year, the 
school was busily training 100 teachers. By 1868, forty schools 

1 Gilbert, Op. Cit., Chapter IV. 

2 Weeks, Op. Cit., p. 318; Cartland, Op. Cit., p. 67. 



were operating under the care of the Baltimore Association in 
North Carolina. Over 2,500 pupils were enrolled. Governor 
Worth, himself descended from Nantucket Quakers, praised 
this effort as the most important program of reconstruction he 
had seen. By the time the work was turned over to North 
Carolina Friends in 1887, Friends from all over the world had 
channeled $138,000 through the Baltimore Association for re- 
construction work in North Carolina. 3 

The person invited to North Carolina to supervise the actual 
rebuilding of the school system was Joseph Moore, a professor 
of science from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Moore 
was the grandson of Quaker immigrants from North Carolina 
who had gone there in the stream of those who had fled a slave 
society to live where human bondage did not exist. Although his 
outstanding work in rebuilding the educational system of North 
Carolina Friends was not a project of New Garden Meeting, he 
made his home there while he traveled "from the mountains to 
the sea, and from the sea to the mountains" in his selfless 
mission of human service. 

The life of Joseph Moore was again to touch New Garden 
when he returned in 1885 to assist the New Garden Boarding 
School to make the transition to Guilford College. At that time, 
he became a member, and during his three years of residence 
was active in the meeting. 

3 Weeks, Op. Cit., pp. 310-316. 


Guilford: A First Class College 

As we come to the time when it began to be whispered about 
that New Garden Boarding School would become a college, it is 
time to review the development of education in the New Gar- 
den community. In colonial North Carolina, education was a 
sometime thing. In the New Garden community, it was below 
the level of the settled communities from which the original 
settlers came. They, being a literate people, were anxious that 
their children have at least the rudiments of an education. And 
rudimentary it often was. 

There is the tradition of Anne the Huntress, who appeared 
out of the forest in 1 790 in buckskin and with a highly orna- 
mented rifle, and won a shooting match with the local men in a 
turkey shoot. This mystery woman remained in the community 
and visited from home to home for seventeen years, teaching 
the local children. After that she disappeared. Addison Coffin 
believed she established a superior English pronunciation in the 
community. 1 

In 1 804, the New Garden Meeting received a recommenda- 
tion from the Yearly Meeting "that local schools" be placed 
under the care of the corresponding monthly meetings. 2 This 
was apparently an effort to provide academic and moral super- 
vision for the informal schools where self-appointed teachers 
were teaching the "three R's" to neighborhood children. Anne 
the Huntress would have fallen into this category. Yet, school- 

1 Addison Coffin, Early Settlement of Friends in North Carolina, pp. 19, 20. 

2 NGMMM August 8, 1 804. 



ing among New Garden Friends went back much farther. When 
Thomas Scattergood visited New Garden in 1 792, he was told 
by Peter Dicks who had settled there in 1 755, that a small build- 
ing standing near the new meeting house was being used for a 
school. The current school building, however, had been used 
as a meeting house prior to the one that burned down. 3 An 
examination of land titles in Guilford County in 1 800 has con- 
vinced a local researcher that Quakers were more literate than 
their neighbors. Of 549 persons whom he considers to be illit- 
erate on the basis of signing their land titles with an X, only 22 
were Quakers. 4 

In about 1815, a handsome little brick school house was 
built just west of the meeting house. Jeremiah Hubbard, the 
tall, swarthy Friend who was part Cherokee Indian, was re- 
garded to have been the first teacher in the school. Others 
who taught there were Horace Cannon, father of the famous 
"Uncle Joe Cannon," who became speaker of the House of 
Representatives, and Nereus Mendenhall. In this little build- 
ing, the Coffin cousins, Levi and Vestal, conducted their his- 
toric school for the slaves in 1 82 1 . A durable marker now stands 
on the spot where this famous school stood. 5 

In 1832, Raul Swain, James Woody and others were ap- 
pointed by New Garden Meeting to establish a school "at this 
place." This was apart from the meeting school, and responded 
to promptings from the Yearly Meeting, which had an interest 
in establishing a Yearly Meeting School. The next year, the 
monthly meeting subscribed to the fund being raised to estab- 
lish the school. In 1 834, the North Carolina Legislature passed 
"An Act to Incorporate the Trustees of New Garden Boarding 
School in the County of Guilford." 6 In 1837, the New Garden 
Boarding School, a coeducational school for the children of 
Quaker families was opened by the North Carolina Yearly Meet- 
ing of Friends on land purchased for that purpose. This 
land adjoined that of New Garden Meeting. Nathan Hunt, that 

3 Weeks, Op. Cit., p. 109. 

4 Fred Hughes, Map of Guilford County Before 1 800. 

5 Located in the New Garden Cemetery, Friendly Avenue and New 
Garden Road, Greensboro, N.C. 

6 Gilbert, Op. Cit., p. 25. 




El ' r * 'V 

Founders Hall, home of New Garden Boarding School, 1837. Nathan Hunt 
said, "I did believe the beginning was in pure wisdom. " 

stalwart son of New Garden, then living at Springfield, said: "I 
did believe the beginning was in pure wisdom." 7 

We have seen how the New Garden Boarding School man- 
aged to stay open all through the Civil War. However, the New 
Garden Monthly Meeting School lapsed. A committee was ap- 
pointed in 1 865 to cooperate with Francis T. King to reestablish 
the Monthly Meeting School. 8 This school continued to func- 
tion intermittently until it was melded into the public school 
established at the same place in 1900. The building then in use 
by the Meeting School was leased to the Board of Commis- 
sioners of Guilford County for ten years. 9 Among those signing 
for the Board of Commissioners was Lewis Lyndon Hobbs, a 
member of New Garden, and at the time president of Guilford 

The big excitement in 1874 had been that the trustess of New 
Garden Boarding School had been approached by the Balti- 

7 "A Brief Memoir of Nathan Hunt," p. 140. 
*NGMMM, December 27, 1865. 
9 Ibid., September 22, 1900. 




..... .. .. . ■ . 

% . ***** 

New Garden Friends met here from 1872 to 1882. 

more Association about turning over their property to them for 
the purpose of establishing "a first class college" there. The 
proposal that came was that the large Yearly Meeting House 
built in 1872 would be used by the new college, with the Yearly 
Meeting gathering elsewhere. Since New Garden had recently 
abandoned the ancient meeting house and was now meeting in 
the new Yearly Meeting House on the campus of New Garden 
Boarding School, the monthly meeting was being asked to give 
it up after only two years of use. The decision was no doubt 
made easier because so many New Garden Friends were associ- 
ated with the school and had caught the vision of the new 
college, but in any case the proposal was approved, and the new 
building became King Hall of Guilford College in honor of the 
great benefactor, Francis T. King. 10 The ancient meeting house 
was in such a poor state of repair that in 1876 it was sold to 
Albert Peele and torn down for scrap lumber. It was a time of 
transition for New Garden Meeting. 

The North Carolina Yearly Meeting had been gathering at 
New Garden since 1790, and it must have seemed to local 

10 Gilbert, Op. Cit., p. 147. 



Friends that it always would, but under the new arrangement it 
would meet in High Point instead. For some forty years, the 
children from New Garden Boarding School worshiped with 
New Garden Friends, but soon they would be replaced by adult- 
sized college students. The faculty would increase and change 
in character. However, the change was not to be immediate. It 
was not until 1888 that the change became official, and New 
Garden Boarding School officially became Guilford College. By 
that time, however, the Yearly Meeting had already been 
gathering at High Point for several years. 

It was during this interim that Joseph Moore, who had al- 
ready given so much to Friends education in North Carolina 
during the difficult years after the Civil War, returned from 
Indiana to aid in the transition. He was a distinguished educa- 
tor. The famous Louis Agassiz, who had been his teacher at 
Harvard, praised him as the best scientist west of the Alle- 
ghenies. As he now returned to North Carolina, he had just 
resigned as president of Earlham College for health reasons. 11 
Nevertheless, he gave generously of himself to ensure that 
Guilford would became a serious educational institution and a 
standard bearer for the Religious Society of Friends. 

Having previously worshiped with New Garden Friends, he 
now brought his membership from Whitewater Monthly Meet- 
ing in Indiana and shared in the life of the meeting. He was a 
recorded minister. Joseph Moore exercised his gift in the minis- 
try in New Garden Meeting for three years while he guided the 
transition from Boarding School to College. In 1888, having 
accomplished his mission, he returned to Indiana. At that junc- 
ture, he gave his blessing to Lewis Lyndon Hobbs, who became 
the first president of Guilford College. Hobbs was also a mem- 
ber of the New Garden family. For 48 years, off and on, he was 
the dedicated clerk of the meeting. He continued in that role 
until, as he said in 1929, his voice was no longer adequate. By 
then, his handwriting (for he always took his own minutes) had 
also became a shadowy wisp of the firm hand that took over the 
new college in 1888. For eighteen years, he had also served as 
clerk of North Carolina Yearly Meeting. 12 

11 Ibid., p. 153. 

12 NGMMM 1929; NCYMM, 1905-1916, 1921-1928. 



Lewis Lyndon Hobbs served as clerk of New 
Garden Meeting, off and on, for 4 8 years. 

One begins to note a difference in tone in the New Garden 
Minutes from the time that New Garden Boarding School was 
transformed into "a first class college." New Garden Friends had 
always been leaders in the Yearly Meeting, travelling much 
throughout the state "in Truth's service," but now the distin- 
guished band of persons collecting as the faculty of Guilford 
College began to open up new horizons. There were such per- 
sons as J. Franklin Davis, who came to Guilford College in 1888 
and taught Biblical Literature and Greek for forty years. At vari- 
ous times he served as clerk of New Garden Monthly Meeting 
and New Garden Quarterly Meeting. A native of the Deep River 
community, he was a graduate of Haverford College and taught 
there for two years, during which he became a friend of Quaker 
philosopher Rufus Jones. He did graduate work at Johns 
Hopkins University and then studied at Leipzig and Strasbourg. 
At his death in 1934, Francis Anscombe described him as "fifty 
years ahead of his time, deeply religious and reverently construc- 
tive." 13 Such a person was bound to have a profound effect on 
the meeting. 

Names that stand out in the early years of the twentieth 
century are John W. Woody, Mary C. Woody, Annie Edgerton 

13 Francis Anscombe, Memorial for J. Franklin Davis, The American Friend, 
February 8, 1934, p. 57. 



"What is to take the place of the old-fashioned bonnet and the round coat" 
asked a Friend in Yearly Meeting in i88y. 

Williams, Joseph Peele, Albert Peeie, Mary A. Peele, Alpheus 
White, Roxie Dixon White, Julia S. White, and James R. Jones. 
As Friends began to enter more freely into the mainstream of 
twentieth century life, there was less concern for "plainness in 
dress and address," and at New Garden and elsewhere they 
abandoned their traditional garb and began to use their thee's 
and their thy's sparingly. A few resisted change. Mary Edith 
Hinshaw remembers that Jemima White always wore a beauti- 
ful Quaker dress and bonnet and sat in the middle of the 
meeting until her death in the logo's, 

A concerned Friend rose in the Yearly Meeting in High Point 
in 1887 and asked: "What is to take the place of the old- 
fashioned bonnet and round coat?" 14 What took their place at 
New Garden was a gready increased interest in public and 
international affairs. For example, in February of 1886, the 
meeting endorsed Senate Bill 355, entitled "A bill to promote 
peace among nations, for the creation of a tribunal for interna- 

14 See Seth B. Hinshaw and Mary Edith Hinshaw, Carolina Quakers, Greens- 
boro, N.C., 1972, p. 43 for Collins sketches of 1869. 



tional arbitration, and for other purposes . . ." In communi- 
cating its action to the U.S. Senate, it added, "for this we 
earnestly pay." 15 Many Friends were responding at the time to a 
campaign being conducted by an eminent Quaker, Benjamin 
Trueblood, who was president of the American Peace Society. 

Actually, this revitalization came after a very low time in the 
meeting. In 1885, J. M. Bundy wrote of the New Garden 
Meeting in these terms: 

The prospects for New Garden meeting, for a long time 
one of the smallest meetings of Friends in North Carolina, 
seem to be brightening of late, not only because of an 
increase in numbers, but also of a more lively interest in the 
meeting on the part of some. 

Four new dwellings have been erected within a few 
months in the immediate vicinity of the school and meet- 
ing. Other Friends, whose services will be of benefit to the 
meeting, are expected soon. The school has been and still is 
growing in efficiency, and it is mainly due to this that 
Friends are looking more to settling here. 16 

As the college took over the Yearly Meeting building, New 
Garden met temporarily in a room in Founders Hall on the 
Guilford College campus. This was only for about two years, 
because in 1884 a new meeting house was completed near the 
northeast corner of the original property line, across the Oak 
Ridge Road (now New Garden) from the old one. To accom- 
plish this, the meeting raised $150 from its membership, and 
the Charleston Fund granted $650. In addition, the meeting 
sold fifteen acres of land to John W. Woody and Albert Peele 
for $225. This land was a triangle which had been cut off from 
the original plot by the Sandy Ridge Road, now known as 
Friendly Avenue. 17 

In The Friends Review,]. M. Bundy described the new building 
in this way: 

The house is a substantial frame, forty by fifty feet, with 

15 NGMMM, February 24, 1886. 

16 J. M. Bundy, Supt., The Friends Review, January 31, 1885. 

17 Guilford County Record of Deeds, Book 7 1-95, New Garden as Grantor, 
under C, p. 216. 



The 1884 Meeting House. Benches were "neatly cushioned." 

porch over the front doors, and with a tin roof. The seats 
are neatly cushioned, and the whole structure presents a 
very neat appearance both within and without . . . Prof. 
Joseph Moore, who with his family had just arrived to take 
part in the new school, was present, and spoke impressively 
from the text, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." 18 

This third meeting house was modest in size compared to the 
old 1791 structure, since the Yearly Meeting sessions had 
moved, first to the Yearly Meeting House on campus, and then 
to High Point. It was an innovation when the men and women 
held a joint session in the new meeting house in 1884, and in 
1 895 the partition dividing the men's and women's sections was 
removed altogether. 19 The ideal of equality of the sexes, strong 
among Friends from the beginning, was being realized only 
gradually. By 1897, it was already being proposed that the 
meeting house be enlarged and improved. 

Jesse Bundy wrote that families were attracted to the New 

18 J. M. Bundy, Ibid. 

19 NGMMM, April 28, 1894; August 24, 1895. 



Garden community to educate their children at New Garden 
Boarding School, soon to become Guilford College. This pro- 
vided a significant element in the New Garden family during 
the 1880's and 1890's, and it was accelerated as Guilford Col- 
lege developed and many of its graduates either remained in 
the community or returned to settle later. An additional attrac- 
tion, however, appeared in 1900 when a graded public school 
began to operate in the old Monthly Meeting Schoolhouse, on 
the site of the present parsonage. By 1903, the school needed 
more space, and a new building was erected, the old one being 
moved across the street to the site of the new meeting house for 
use by the Bible School. 

Public education was at a low state in rural North Carolina in 
that period, and many families began to move from adjacent 
counties into the New Garden community to give their children 
access to the New Garden-Guilford College educational com- 
plex. A public high school was added to the original grade 
school, and this continued until 1925, when the school moved to 
the site of the present Guilford Middle School on College Road. 
Older members of the community still remember their days in 
that school, across New Garden Road from Guilford College. It 
occupied a substantial two-story brick building, and when a new 
meeting house was built in 1912, the 1884 meeting house was 
moved across the road and provided additional space. 

In point of fact, the public school on leased New Garden 
property, retained much of its Quaker flavor. Members of the 
meeting organized a Community Club, a kind of PTA, to spon- 
sor special programs in the school. In 1915, all the teachers in 
this school were members of New Garden Meeting and re- 
ported on the state of the school to the monthly meeting. 20 

Some twenty families from surrounding counties sank their 
roots deeply in the New Garden community during this first 
quarter of the twentieth century. Many of them were farmers 
and settled on the land. Not since the coming of the Nan- 
tucketers more than a century earlier had there been such an 
influx. Their homes stretched from Friendly Shopping Center 
to the Airport, and from Bailes Mill to Hilltop Road. Greens- 

NGMMM 6-26-1915. 



boro was emerging as a growing market for agricultural prod- 
ucts, as well as an educational center. Several Quaker families, 
notably the Cobles, Cummings and Knights, established impor- 
tant dairies and were instrumental in organizing the very suc- 
cessful Guilford Dairy Cooperative. This organization con- 
tinues tenuously in the modern Flav-O-Rich operation. 

These new families provided an anchor for the New Garden 
community as they mingled with the older native families to 
create a new core that was to endure for several generations. 
From this group, we list only those who remained a reasonable 
length of time and/or are represented in the present member- 
ship. The dates given refer to reception in the meeting, and 
may not correspond to the time of moving into the community. 
In the order of appearance in the Record Book of New Garden 
Monthly Meeting they are: 

1900 — Shube E. and Flora Gray Coltrane, from Sumner 

Community, Guilford County. (Hereafter, "coun- 
ty" will be omitted.) 

1901 — John Gurney and Gracette Frazier, from Ran- 


1903 — Henry and Rhodema Crutchfield, from Chatham. 

1904 — Julius and Carrie Coltrane, from Randolph. 

1905 — William and Bessie Blalock (Blaylock), from Ran- 


1908 — Alfred and Mary Ann Hollowell, he from Wayne 
County, she from Clinton County, Ohio. 

1913 — Daniel Webster (Webb) and Nancy Lindley, from 


— Daniel Webster and Lydia Mary Coltrane, from 

1914 — Alpheus and Roxie Dixon White, from Chatham. 

1915 — Samuel and Georgiana Coble, from Randolph. 

1916 — Orlando and Minnie Stout, from Randolph. 

— William Wolf, M.D., from Northampton. 

— Ezra and Annie Mackie, from Yadkin. 

— Edgar and Fannie Farlow, from Randolph and 

1918 — Allen Jay and Josephine (Josie) Marshburn, from 



Russell Causey and Carrie Smith, from Randolph. 
Walter and Gulielma Grantham, from Deep River, 

Guilford County. 
1919 — David and Safronia Farlow, from Randolph. 

— John and Eileen Hodgin, from Greensboro 

Monthly Meeting. 

1924 — John Kemp and Lenta Farlow, from Randolph. 

1925 — Alonzo Pringle, M.D., and Mary Pringle, from 


Of course, multi-generational institutions such as New Gar- 
den Meeting continue to change and pay little heed to neat 
divisions into decades and centuries. The past half-century has 
brought profound changes which in the future may seem 
greater than those of the previous one. Yet, from our perspec- 
tive, the 1900-1925 period seems a very crucial one. The group 
entering during that period has melded into the older families 
who reach back beyond 1900, and in a few cases to the very 
beginning. The new synthesis is being further altered by today's 
generous influx of new families. 

Some of the pre- 1 900 families presently identifiable either by 
name or through the maternal line, are: Ballinger, Beal, Bee- 
son, Benbow, Henley, Peele, Knight, Hodgin, Lamb, McCrack- 
en, Meredith, Sampson and Worth. If one scans the family tree 
of any New Gardener who has been around for a couple of 
generations, the chances are good that he will find one of these 
names there. 

From the 1900-1925 period, persons associated with Guil- 
ford College who, with their families, span a long period in New 
Garden Meeting, would be Algie and Eva Newlin, members of 
the family of Lyndon and Mary Mendenhall Hobbs, Clement 
and Lina Meredith, Robert and Nell Doak, and Elwood and 
Inez Perisho. This is an open list which continues in each 
generation as ties are created through extended residence and 
marriage ties. 

This period, actually extending back into the 1880's, also saw 
great changes in the focus of meeting life. In the early days, 
Friends at New Garden were nothing if not pious. Their rules 
of conduct were strict, and disownment was so frequent as to be 
almost routine. However, there is little evidence of theological 



rigidity. Children became members at the request of their par- 
ents, and adults were apparently accepted simply on request. 
There is no pious language in the early New Garden records 
about salvation, or even about God. There is very little men- 
tion of "The Lord," but a great deal about The Truth — some- 
times capitalized, sometimes not. Everything was done to the 
"honor of truth." Ministers were authorized to travel "in the 
service of Truth." 

All this began to change as the great evangelical and mis- 
sionary wave of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centu- 
ries swept across the country. In 1890, apparently for the first 
time, an application for membership was received from a per- 
son who was acknowledged to be "an honest and upright young 
man," but the committee appointed to visit him refused to rec- 
ommend him for membership because "he acknowledges that 
he has not been converted." 21 Actually, the young man was even- 
tually accepted, but it was a new mentality which was to surface 
from time to time to bring tension and disagreement in the 
meeting. It should be noted that this mentality was spreading 
widely among Friends at the time, particularly in the West, and 
was reflected in the Richmond Declaration of Faith of 1877. 22 

21 NGMMM, February 22, 1890. 

22 Cf. Faith and Practice of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends, 1 970 
ed., pp. 7-9 for the complete Richmond Declaration. 


Growing Acculturation 

The old inward-looking community was rapidly becoming a 
thing of the past. When the "bonnet and the round coat" gave 
way to innovative dress, innovative ideas were not far behind. 
The concerned Friend at the Yearly Meeting in High Point was 
right. Not only did the more sophisticated members of the 
Guilford College faculty bring new ideas from the North and 
from Europe, but the ferment taking place in American society 
began to make itself felt in the meeting in many other ways. 

For one thing it was no longer believed that Friends had a 
corner on religious truth. Although this had never been the 
case officially, since Friends believe there is "that of God in 
everyone," there had been a distance between Friends and 
other Christians which was rather sharply defined and observed 
in a number of ways. Persons moved freely from one Friends 
meeting to another with minutes from their last meetings, but 
there appears to have been no such movement between Friends 
and other denominations. In 1891, however, an interesting 
phrase appears in the New Garden minutes: a member of the 
meeting is released from membership because she has "joined 
herself to another branch of the Christian Church." 1 Four years 
later, a woman was received into membership from the "M.E. 
Church South of Goldston, N.C. . . ." 2 A month earlier, a 
member of New Garden had been transferred to a Methodist 
Church in Hillsboro. From that time forward, there was much 
releasing and receiving of members to and from other denomi- 

A very frequent cause of disownment in the early days was 

1 AWH, August 26, 1891, NGMMM. 

2 NGMMM, May 25, 1895. 



"marrying out of meeting" in any one of several disapproved 
ways. Friends lost a lot of members that way. "Uncle Joe" 
Cannon, the famous congressman from Danville, Illinois, spoke 
to New Garden Friends on a Sunday morning in 1916, and 
recalled his own experience. He said his family was one of 
twenty families (all Quakers?) moving from North Carolina "to 
the Wabash" in 1840 — when he was four years old. When the 
time came to marry, however, he found himself to be in love 
with a Methodist girl. The outspoken Speaker of the House of 
Representatives minced no words in the matter: He was dis- 
owned by the meeting for marrying the girl and he had abso- 
lutely no regrets for his decision. However, he knew that 
Quakers had changed their ways, and he congratulated them 
on altering their discipline relating to mixed marriages. Never- 
theless, the incident had not endeared organized religion to 
him, for he revealed that he was not at that time a member of 
any church. 3 

At New Garden, "mixed marriages" began to be reported as 
early as 1886. In that year, both women's and men's meetings 
approved of the marriage of Emily Worth, a Friend, to Thad- 
deus Butner, a non-Friend. 4 In 1905, the meeting gave its 
approval to the marriage of Annie King Blair, a Friend, to 
William W. Allen, Jr., who was not a Friend. A committee was 
appointed to assist in the wedding at the home of the bride. 5 

There had long been friendly relations with the nearby Muirs 
Chapel Methodist Church — referred to in an 1824 minute as 
"the Methodist Society." Gradually, there was increasing contact 
with churches in Greensboro, which was still a separate com- 
munity six miles away. There are still Friends among us who 
remember Friendly Avenue as a narrow, red dirt road ridged 
high in the middle, that got slippery and muddy when it rained. 
Guilford students sometimes walked to Pomona to catch the 
streetcar for Greensboro. 

One of the most active interdenominational (or non-denomi- 
national) organizations touching New Garden was the Christian 
Endeavor Society. As early as 1900, it was reported that a 

3 Greensboro Daily News, August 6, 1933. 

4 NGMMM, August 25, 1886. 
b Ibid., June 5, 1905. 



Christian Endeavor Society had been formed with J. Waldo 
Woody as president, but in 1909 the monthly meeting was told 
that, while Young Friends still met regularly, they had not 
affiliated with the popular international religious society. 6 The 
problem was that only a few of the young people had agreed to 
sign the famous Christian Endeavor Pledge. Perhaps it seemed 
too credal for Quakers. The monthly meeting recommended 
that a Christian Endeavor Society be formed without requiring 
the pledge, and apparently that procedure was followed. 

In any case, a Society was formed and prospered. By 1916, 
Ruth Coble, the current president, reported a membership of 
seventy-nine. The next year, 165 members were reported, after 
a personal workers band had been formed following a revival. 
Four new societies were formed at Blue Ridge, Science Hill, 
Deep River and High Falls. A Junior Society with thirty-three 
members was reported in 1917, and that year the New Garden 
Christian Endeavor Society won the state banner at the state 
convention. Then the war came and membership dropped as 
many of the boys went into military service. However, it was 
reported that Clara Farlow was doing fine work with the 
juniors. 7 

Membership in the Christian Endeavor Society reached a 
peak of 200 in 1927, but in the decade that followed it de- 
clined. 8 By 1944, it was down to fifty-eight. 9 Since that time 
young people in New Garden have become very active in the 
Young Friends organization on the local, state and national 

The first three decades of the twentieth century were some- 
thing of a benchmark in interdenominational cooperation. It 
was the spirit of the times. The spirit of Ecumenism transcended 
the Christian Community. In 1935, for example, J. Gurney 
Frazier and Herbert Huffman, representing New Garden 
Meeting, attended a "fellowship of Protestants, Jews and Catho- 
lics" in Greensboro, and a few years later Rabbi Fred Rypins 

6 NGMMM, December 22, 1900; December 25, 1909. 

7 Ibid., June 24, 1916; May 26, 1917. 

8 Ibid., June 22, 1927. 

9 NGMMM, June 22, 1927. 



came from Temple Emanuel to speak in a meeting for worship. 
The date chosen for this event was the Sunday nearest Armis- 
tice Day, a deliberate gesture of goodwill toward the Jewish 
community at a dine when anti-Semitism was sweeping across 
Germany. 10 In 1946, Russell Branson, then pastoral minister at 
New Garden, spoke at Temple Emanuel. 11 J. Floyd Moore, a 
member of the Guilford College faculty and a member of New 
Garden Meeting, was especially active in promoting a long, 
friendly relationship with Temple Emanuel and other Jewish 
groups in Greensboro. 

10 Ibid., February 27, 1935. 

11 Ibid., June 26, 1946. 


Outreach Ministries 

Interest in missions, evangelism and outreach had grown stead- 
ily at the turn of the century. From the earliest times, as we have 
noted, New Garden ministers traveled with minutes from their 
meeting to other meetings near and far. Prominent among 
these traveling ministers was William Hunt, the father of Na- 
than Hunt, who was given a minute in 1761 to pay a religious 
visit to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 1 In 
the course of his journeys, he went to the upper reaches of New 
England, and was said to have visited every monthly meeting in 
America. In 1770, he requested a minute for a religious visit to 
Europe, which he carried out acceptably, visiting England, Ire- 
land, Scotland and Holland. Upon returning to England from 
Holland, he fell victim to a smallpox epidemic and died an 
untimely death, leaving a widow and eight small children at 
New Garden. 2 His descendants have raised a monument memo- 
rializing him in the New Garden Cemetery. His son, Nathan 
Hunt, even more widely known among Friends than his father, 
also visited widely among Friends,. He also made a religious 
visit to England. In every generation, many visits have been 
made at home and abroad "in the service of Truth." 

As we approach the end of the nineteenth century we seem to 
note some change in the nature of this ministry. Early Friends 
counseled moral living and testified to the power of God, but 
now there was a new insistence on a conversion experience. 
Ministers went forth "in His service," a phrase new in the 
records. They followed "the Lord's leading," instead of being in 

1 Henry C. Cadbury, Journal of William Hunt's Visit to Europe, 1771-1772, 
Guilford College Library, 1968, p. 6. 

2 Ibid. 



Mary C. Woody. 
Her messages were brief 
and clear. 

the service of Truth. In 1891, the Evangelistic and Missionary 
Committee requested the appointment of a special committee 
to "have care of the work of the church" (not meeting), to build 
up and strengthen the membership, and to extend to all within 
our reach such labor of love as our Heavenly Father may call for 
at our hands." 3 The dry formulas of another age were being 
abandoned for a new enthusiasm and a new sensitivity to the 
spiritual needs of the meeting and the surrounding community. 

However one might evaluate it, there was increased travel 
across the state by the several ministers always to be found at 
New Garden, and no doubt the nature of the ministry varied 
greatly with the individual. Sometimes, if not always, such per- 
sons were given funds from the treasury to cover railroad fare. 4 
From as far away as Charleston, South Carolina, came a report 
from Jesse Meredith and his family as they labored to establish a 
new meeting there. 5 

One person who was especially active in this service was Mary 
C. Woody. She visited extensively in the Yearly Meeting, and in 
1891 expressed the almost mandatory concern among promi- 
nent Friends ministers to visit London Yearly Meeting. 6 Lorena 

3 May 23, 1891. NGMMM. 

4 The Friend (Philadelphia) vol. 68 (1894-5), pp. 37, 51, 52. Cf. Cadbury, The 
Church in the Wilderness, N.C. Quakerism as seen by visitors, 1948, p. 11. 

5 NGMMM, July 26, 1890. 

6 Ibid., February 28, 1891. 



Reynolds accompanied her on this preaching mission in 1 892. 
Mary C. Woody was the wife of John W. Woody, a professor of 
religion at Guilford College. 7 Louetta Knight recalls that young 
girls in the meeting thought she was "just about perfect." Her 
vocal ministry in the meeting was brief and clear, illuminating 
the "lofty" remarks made by certain men Friends. In 1900, she 
reported to the Yearly Meeting for the Committee on the De- 
velopment of the Ministry. She had visited all the quarters and 
reported opportunities for service "in large factory districts, 
jails, poorhouses and shanty cars." Not content to limit her 
ministry to Friends, she became the first State President of the 
Women's Christian Temperance Union and served in that ca- 
pacity for ten years. She was national vice-president of that or- 
ganization when Frances Willard was president. 8 

Albert Peele and Eli Craven were among those who frequently 
got minutes from New Garden for service in other quarterly 
and monthly meetings. 9 Albert Peele figures prominently in the 
annals of New Garden Meeting, and he and Mary Peele gave 
outstanding leadership there as ministers. Eli Craven was a 
nineteen-year-old student when he received a minute for ser- 
vice at Holly Spring in 1892. He later became a prominent busi- 
nessman in Greensboro, where he was an active member of 
Greensboro Monthly Meeting. He maintained a lively interest 
in religious matters, and the Eli F. Craven Chair of Religion 
and Philosophy at Guilford College honors him. 

David Sampson, a Friend of British origin who was blind, 
exercised his gift in the ministry widely in North Carolina and 
Virginia. New Garden provided him with minutes and gave him 
at least symbolic support for his work at Westfield, East Bend 
and elsewhere. 10 During 1892, the Evangelistic Committee re- 
ported meetings held twice a month at Piney Grove and New 
Salem. The expenses of James R. Jones in a ministry to "New 

7 John W. Woody was the first president of William Penn College in 
Oskaloosa, Iowa, and from 1 899 to 1 908 was "White President" of the State 
Industrial and Normal School at Winston-Salem, N.C. (Now WSSU) 

8 North Carolina Yearly Meeting Minutes, 1 900. Also conversations with 
Mary E. Woody Hinshaw, granddaughter of Mary C. Woody. 

9 NGMMM, June 25, 1892; March 24, 1892. 

10 Ibid., May 28, 1892. 



York" were shared by New Garden that year. 11 

Also in 1892, a group of New Garden Friends was authorized 
to organize a new meeting at Rural Hall. In October, sixteen 
applications for membership were received and accepted from 
that place — a highly unusual number in one month. The next 
month, nine more were received. New Garden Friends aiding in 
the work at Rural Hall traveled there by train at meeting ex- 
pense. 12 Unhappily, within one year, nine members of the new 
meeting were disowned for drinking and other immoral con- 
duct. 13 The meeting acquired an academy building in Rural 
Hall and raised money to adapt it as a meeting house, but after 
three years the work was laid down, leaving a debt of $50 1.06. 14 

Valiant efforts were made to sustain established centers. The 
Dover Meeting, going back to 1798, continued through the 
1880's and was visited by New Garden Friends until it was 
finally laid down in 1889. Thirty-seven remaining members 
were attached to New Garden Meeting, although most of these 
actually lived in Oak Ridge. The extended Benbow family was 
the nucleus of this group. 15 

At New Salem, Franklin and Mary Moon Meredith con- 
ducted meetings in 1898, and reported seven "professed con- 
versions" and four applications for membership. 16 For a dec- 
ade, young people from the Guilford College Y.M.C.A. helped 
with the meetings at New Salem, and work there continued at 
least through 19 16. 17 

The Blue Ridge Mission in Patrick County, Virginia, estab- 
lished through the efforts of David Sampson, Deep River 
Quarterly Meeting and North Carolina Yearly Meeting, was the 
focus of much interest on the part of New Garden Friends. 
David Sampson and his wife, Sarah (Sally) Marshburn Samp- 
son, were sometime members of New Garden, and indeed, the 
latter spent her last years as a widow in Guilford College vill- 

11 Ibid., June 25, 1892. 

12 Ibid., October 28, 1893. 

13 Ibid., November 25, 1893. 

14 Ibid., January 25, 1896. 

15 Ibid. July 22, 1899. 

16 Ibid., October 22, 1898. 

17 Ibid., July 27, 1916. 



age. 18 It was New Garden that had recommended the recording 
of David Sampson in 1884. Joseph Moore Purdie, who served 
the Blue Ridge Mission for a number of years, was recorded a 
minister in New Garden Meeting in 19 10. 19 

Friends were meeting at Pomona, at least from 1889 to 1909, 
and new Garden Friends visited there regularly. Eli Reece was 
appointed pastor there in 19 10. 20 New Garden Friends visited 
Walkers Chapel, 21 Piney Grove (1887-1908), 22 McAdensville 
(1901-1906), 23 Bethel (around 1908), 24 Muddy Creek (associ- 
ated with Dover), 25 and Dutchman's Creek, which was visited by 
Albert Peele during 19 10-1 9 12. 26 

The Kernersville Meeting was established by New Garden 
Meeting when R. Shepard Nelson offered a suitable building 
for $1 18.27 m 1 9°7- 27 Money from the sale of the Dover prop- 
erty was used for this purpose. At first, the meetings were held 
only once a month. Albert and Joseph Peele were among those 
instrumental in establishing the Kernersville Meeting, but others 
helped also. As late as 1947, New Garden included an item of 
$120 in the budget for the Kernersville Meeting. 28 

Winston-Salem honors David and Sarah Sampson as its foun- 
ders in 191 1. 29 However, a decade before that, Mary C. Woody 
traveled to Winston-Salem from New Garden "to deliver mes- 
sages she was commanded of God to deliver to our members" 
there. 30 Most, if not all, of the charter members of the Winston- 
Salem Meeting were transfers from New Garden, including 
David and Sarah Sampson themselves. 31 

18 Ibid., July 20, 1884; March 23, 1912. 
13 Ibid., September 24, 1910. 

20 Ibid., March 26, 1910. 

21 Ibid., June 22, 1901. 

22 Ibid., September 28, 1887; March 28, 1908. 

23 Ibid., September 28, 1901; February 24, 1906. 

24 Ibid., November 28, 1908. 

25 Ibid., M.C. property sold, June 25, 1904. 

26 Ibid., December 12, 1909; November 25, 1916. 

27 Ibid., May 25, 1907. 

28 Ibid., June 25, 1947. 

29 S. and M. E. Hinshaw, Op. Cit., p. 127. 

30 NGMMM, June 22, 1901. 

31 Ibid., April 27, 1912. 



Mary Mendenhall Hobbs was an 
evangelist for the education of 
young women. 

Considering the many influences surrounding the formation 
of a new meeting, it may seem immodest to stress the role of 
New Garden in so many of them, but there was certainly a lot of 
outreach activity in the meeting at the turn of the century. We 
might note, in addition to the above, that Greensboro Monthly 
Meeting (now First Friends) looked to New Garden for advice 
and assistance in getting started, even though the nucleus of the 
charter members came from Springfield. Friends at New Gar- 
den prepared the customary request to the Charleston Fund for 
assistance in building a meeting house in 1889. 32 There were 
frequent transfers of members from New Gaden to the Greens- 
boro Monthly Meeting. 

Nevertheless, the long evangelical fervor of New Garden 
Meeting seemed to cool as the new century wore on. Friends 
from New Garden continued to visit other meetings, but often 
with a different purpose. Mary Mendenhall Hobbs, for exam- 
ple, was an evangelist for education, especially for the nurture 
of young women. Both at New Garden, and in other meetings, 
she held special meetings to inspire and instruct young women 
in the performance of their Christian duty. She became one of 

Ibid., August 28, 1889. 



the founders of the Woman's College of the University of North 
Carolina, now a coeducational institution known as the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was a friend of Dr. 
Charles D. McTver, addressed the State Legislature to promote 
the idea of the college, and later was awarded an honorary 
degree of Doctor of Literature by the University of North 
Carolina. At Guilford College a cooperative dormitory, Mary 
Hobbs Hall, bears her name. 33 

Even before the Civil War, when Friends felt they had done 
all they could to combat slavery, they began to turn their atten- 
tion to the evils of strong drink. Year by year, the Yearly 
Meeting inquired, and New Garden reported, how many mem- 
bers used alcoholic beverages "other than as a medicine." 34 
During the second decade of the century, alcohol abuse came to 
be a major concern at New Garden, and prohibition was more 
and more advocated. Friends were not alone in this, and indeed 
their activism was in part growing evidence of their accultura- 
tion. All across the country, religious and social forces were 
coming together in a national effort which was to culminate in 

Interest in the Sunday School, or First Day School, grew 
steadily during this period. Katharine Hoskins wrote that when 
a "sabbath school" was first proposed in 1818, it was strongly 
opposed by conservative members. 35 Actually, the minutes indi- 
cate that it was in 1865 that a First Day School Committee was 
first appointed. By 1901, however, there were six "Bible 
Schools" being held under the auspices of New Garden: New 
Garden, Guilford College, New Salem, Piney Grove, Walkers 
Chapel, and in the New Garden Monthly Meeting School. 36 By 
1915, it was reported that 350 children were enrolled in the 
New Garden First Day Schools. 37 

33 Gilbert, Guilford: A Quaker College, pp. 247-255. 

34 This practice was in use as early as 1841. Cf. NCYMM, vo. 3, p. 95, 1841. 

35 Greensboro Daily News, August 7, 1932. 

36 NGMMM, June 22, 1901. 

37 Ibid., June 26, 1915. 


New Garden Becomes 
a Pastoral Meeting 

Although the Society of Friends owes its very existence to the 
earnest messages of persons with a gift in the ministry, and 
George Fox himself was a compelling preacher, Friends strictly 
avoided the designation and support of pastors until late in the 
nineteenth century. Even then, it was primarily a Western phe- 
nomenon and was looked upon with disapproval by many 
Friends. The reason, of course, is the rhetoric used by George 
Fox in his denunciation of the corrupt "hireling priests" of his 
time, who, he was convinced, were much more interested in 
their salaries and perquisites than in the saving of souls. Yet, 
from the beginning, Friends ministers who went forth in the 
service of Truth were aided by their meetings with expense 
money for their travels. This practice was followed by North 
Carolina Yearly Meeting from its inception. A Yearly Meeting 
"stock" was maintained for this purpose. 

At New Garden, certain services to the meeting were paid as 
early as 1766. In that year the monthly meeting established a 
scale to be allowed for Zachariah Dicks for the following ser- 

18 pence for recording a marriage certificate 
4 pence for recording a birth 
o for recording a burial 1 

1 NGMMM, January 25, 1766. 



It was 139 years later that we first find that the finance 
committee was instructed to include "some allowance for pas- 
toral work." 2 Three years later, the meeting agreed to "continue 
the practice of last year of contributing $50 to Albert Peele for 
pastoral service." 3 This arrangement, however, did not involve 
designating Albert Peele as a stated preacher. On other occasions 
we find reference to helping him with his "work" so as to release 
him for special services to the meeting. Mary Edith Hinshaw 
remembers that one year her grandmother, Mary C. Woody, 
received a fine tea set in appreciation of her services as "one of 
the pastors" of New Garden Meeting. 

As the twentieth century opened, New Garden Friends Meet- 
ing had become a community church in many ways. Louetta 
Knight Gilbert, remembering back easily to 1900, declares that 
she cannot remember when it was not so considered. Muirs 
Chapel Methodist Church, only a few miles away, had its ac- 
cepted place in the order of things because of its antiquity and 
because of its long friendly relations with the Quakers. How- 
ever, when the Guilford Baptist Church was organized in 1914, 
there was loud objection that it was intruding on New Garden's 
territory. 4 New Garden Boarding School had accepted non- 
Quaker children almost from the beginning, but now Guilford 
College was even more the property of the community at large. 
The Woman's College of the University of North Carolina had 
been established at Greensboro only in 1892, and it was limited 
to women. Consequently, Guilford College was the only coedu- 
cational college in the area, and was an important institution in 
Greater Greensboro. The Greensboro Daily News devoted a gen- 
erous amount of space to the Quaker college in those days. 
Since New Garden was so closely related to the college, and 
Greensboro was still a relatively small town, the meeting also got 
a good press. 

The community had experienced enormous change since 
1 754. It was no longer possible to distinguish Quakers by their 
dress, and many Friends of the period had been reared Bap- 

2 Ibid., September 25, 1905. 

3 Ibid., March 28, 1908, for Albert Peele. 

4 From a taped conversation with Louetta Knight Gilbert. 



tists, Methodists, or something else. At the college, students still 
had to attend meeting at the turn of the century, which on 
Sundays made an impossible situation in the small meeting 
house erected in 1884. Consequently, in 1904, it was decided 
that meetings would be held in the large auditorium of the old 
Memorial Hall on campus during the months when school was 
in session. Furthermore, the membership of the meeting was 
growing. From near extinction at the close of the Civil War, it 
had risen to 435 by 1908. 5 

Louetta Knight Gilbert provides us with a splendid anecdote 
from the period when New Garden Friends were meeting in 
Memorial Hall. It is recounted in a publication of former resi- 
dents of Mary Hobbs Hall at Guilford College, from which we 

Since all college students were required to go to Meeting 
on Sunday mornings, and since the little white frame 
Friends Meeting House back of Memorial Hall was too 
small for the combined college and community groups, 
Sunday morning worship services were held in the audi- 
torium of Memorial Hall during the school year. 

I remember one Sunday morning while J. Edwin Jay was 
preaching, suddenly Professor George White stood up and 
said, "Friends, I see a fire in Mary Hobbs Hall! Would 
some college boys go and put it out?" People remained in 
their places waiting. When the boys returned they reported 
that the fire was contained in the southeast corner room on 
the first floor, with very little damage. A window curtain, 
blowing in a breeze, had caught fire from a lighted lamp. 
(The two sisters living in the room had been using the oil 
lamp to heat a curling iron to curl their hair for meeting. 
In their haste they had forgotten to blow out the lamp.) 

Not until the boys returned from extinguishing the fire 
did the Meeting "settle" again. Even then, Professor Jay 
didn't continue the sermon, but instead he made some 
remarks about the importance of our being ready for any 
emergency situation. 6 

5 NGMMM, November 28, 1908. 

6 Godwin, Gayle, and others, Girls are of Infinite Importance: Life in Mary Hobbs 
Hall at Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C., Editorial Group, Mary Hobbs Hall 
Advisory Committee, 1977. 



The elegant 1912 meeting house blended with the architecture of Guilford 

Entertaining as it might be to watch fires in Mary Hobbs Hall 
from a window of Memorial Hall during meeting, New Garden 
Friends began to consider building a new meeting house as 
early as 1905, when Raymond Binford was appointed chairman 
of a committee for that purpose. 7 It was 1912, however, before 
the splendid new Georgian colonial building was completed 
across the street south from Memorial Hall. 8 This building 
abandoned the ancient simplicity of Friends meeting houses 
and conformed more closely to the contemporary style of Prot- 
estant church architecture. Yet, there was no steeple and no 
stained glass windows. Its rows of straight benches faced a 
raised platform and a plain wall, not out of keeping with the 
Quaker notion of undirected worship. 

This building was erected for the joint use of New Garden 
Meeting, North Carolina Yearly Meeting, and Guilford College. 

7 NGMMM, April 22, 1905. 

8 Ibid., August 24, 1912. 



The Yearly Meeting appropriated $7,500 for the project, and 
New Garden pledged a similar amount. From long custom, 
assistance was sought from the Charleston Fund in the amount 
of $1000. 9 To help raise its share, New Garden sold the old 
meeting house to the Graded School Board for $250 and 
moved it across New Garden Road. 10 The apparent cost of the 
new building wa $13,973.18, and the mortgage was cancelled in 


The large new building placed New Garden on a physical par 
with Greensboro's finest churches, but there was a growing 
feeling that in order to meet the needs of the growing member- 
ship and the Guilford College students, a new building was not 
enough: the time had come for a pastoral minister. Many 
meetings in North Carolina had already taken this step, in- 
cluding the Asheboro Street Meeting (Greensboro Monthly 
Meeting) in downtown Greensboro. 

It was the Young Friends who finally brought the matter to a 
head. In 1917, the Christian Endeavor Society urged the meet- 
ing to employ a full-time pastor, and in one day raised $660 to 
help toward the project. 12 Since the matter was already under 
consideration, the Monthly Meeting accepted the proposal, and 
proceeded to implement it. J. Edgar Williams was recom- 
mended by a committee appointed to make a selection, and he 
became the first pastor of New Garden Meeting. 13 He and his 
wife Anna, and children Marjorie and Russell transferred their 
membership from the Carthage, Indiana, Monthly Meeting. 
Edgar Williams was not unknown to New Garden Meeting. 1 " In 
1906, he had held a series of meetings there during which 78 
persons were reported to have been "converted or renewed." 
Of this number, 22 requested membership. 15 At the time of the 
invitation to New Garden, Williams was serving as pastor of the 
Asheboro Street Meeting in Greensboro. 

9 Ibid., August 21, 1911. It is not clear that this was granted. 

10 Ibid., August 24, 1912. 

11 Ibid., November 23, 1912; Jn 22, 1918. 

12 Ibid., June 23, 1917. Minutes contain letter from C.E. Society. 

13 Ibid., July 28, 1917. 

14 Ibid., September 22, 1917. 

15 Ibid., January 27, 1906. 



J. Edgar Williams became the first 
pastoral minister in igi 7. 

A number of people at New Garden still remember this first 
full-time pastor. Among them are Clara Farlow, Louetta Knight 
Gilbert, Edna Coble Burton, Ruth Coble Gilmore, and Frank 
Crutchfield, and these Friends agree that he was a friendly 
person who had good "presence" as a speaker and used lan- 
guage effectively. He was intelligent and well informed. Clara 
Farlow remembers that he was quite orthodox in his theology 
and did not shrink from pointing out in his sermons moral 
lapses that he had observed in the community and in the 
meeting. After he was pastor, he again conducted a revival 
meeting at New Garden, much to the surprise and consterna- 
tion of some Friends. 

On balance, Edgar Williams is remembered as a kind, 
thoughtful and Christian man concerned for the welfare of the 
meeting and community. He was especially effective with young 
people, and under his leadership the Christian Endeavor Socie- 
ty and the meeting grew "noticeably." 

All these Friends agree that while Edgar Williams was the first 
"designated pastor," there had been sermons in meetings for 
worship on a regular basis long before that. Those who spoke 
most often were: Albert Peele, Mary Peele, Mary Woody, Julia 
White, Alpheus White, and visiting ministers "including Waldo 
Woody, Lewis McFarland and others." 16 

16 From interviews with Friends mentioned. 


Global Missions and Service 

New Garden Friends had always been in touch with Friends and 
others outside the state of North Carolina. The first generation 
were all in-migrants from other yearly meetings, and there was 
always a brisk stream of communication with them; later, they 
were in constant touch with the Western yearly meetings as 
North Carolina Friends moved West. English and Irish Friends 
visited New Garden, 1 and an occasional New Garden Friend 
visited England, but prior to the late nineteenth century there 
had been virtually no contact with, and little awareness of, the 
vast non-English-speaking world. It was in 1874 that a Mis- 
sionary Committee was first appointed by the Yearly Meeting. 2 
We find an indication of the growing interest in the under- 
developed countries when Laura Winston returned to New 
Garden friom Matamoros, Mexico, in 1887, with an endorse- 
ment of her travel minute by the Matamoros Monthly Meeting. 
The returning minute expressed "satisfaction with her labors" 
there. 3 In 1898, the North Carolina Yearly Meeting up-graded 
the Missionary Committee to the status of the Friends Foreign 
Missionary Board. 4 

The first person from New Garden to express interest in 
foreign missionary service was Anna (Annie) V. Edgerton (later 
Williams). She felt a leading to enter religious service in India, 

1 See Wm. Hunt, "An account of Public Friends that have visited N.G." 

2 NGMMM, May 27, 1874. 

3 Ibid., August, 24, 1887. 

4 NCYMM, October 8, 1989. Cf. Hilty, "The Cuban Connection," Southern 
Friend (vol. 2, no. 1, 1980). 



and was sent there by the Mission Board of the Ohio Yearly 
Meeting (Damascus) in 1898. 5 There she joined Esther Baird, 
who was already engaged in Friends work. Prior to her mission 
service, Anna Edgerton had been given minutes from New 
Garden for service in Western, Kansas and Indiana Yearly 
Meetings. In 1898, she was recorded a minister. 6 

It was a common interest in missions, in part, that brought a 
number of American Yearly Meetings together to form the Five 
Years Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in 1902. In 
1909, Charles Tebbets, Executive Secretary of the American 
Friends Board of Foreign Missions, an agency of the Five Years 
Meeting, addressed a missionary conference at New Garden 
Meeting. 7 The next year, the visits of missionaries Willis Hotch- 
kiss and Dr. E. B. Blackburn, of Africa, Eva Terrell of Cuba, 
and Nancy Lee of Mexico, were recorded. 8 In 1912, Esther 
Baird, with whom Anna Edgerton had served in India, re- 
ported on her work in Nowgong. 9 The Woody sisters, Ellen and 
Martha Jay, having been students at Guilford College, were 
known to, and were sometimes members of, New Garden. 
During 1900, both became independent missionaries in Cuba. 
During furloughs they visited New Garden and received some 
support from the meeting. 10 

From this beginning, New Garden Friends have maintained a 
lively interest in the international activities of Friends down to 
the present time. It is an interest which has sometimes been 
tentative, however, as sensitive members of the meeting have 
felt reluctant to interfere in the religious beliefs of alien peo- 
ples, yet quite a number have participated in this service. New 
Garden Friends Women have been especially faithful in their 
support of Friends outreach. In 1929, the Senior Christian 
Endeavor Society sponsored a six-week school of missions at 
New Garden, and one of their number soon departed for for- 
eign service: Louetta Knight went to teach in the Colegio Nancy 

5 June 24, 1899. Sailed December 14, 1898. 

6 NGMMM, September 24, 1898. 

7 Ibid., June 26, 1909. 

8 Ibid., May 28, 1910. 

9 Ibid., January 6, 1912. 

10 Ibid., June 23, 1903. 



L. Lee in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, where she served from 1929 
to 1931. 11 The schools of missions became an annual affair. 

Algie and Eva Newlin have been long-time ambassadors of 
New Garden Meeting. In 1939, the meeting received a letter 
from the Geneva, Switzerland, Meeting expressing appreciation 
for the presence of Algie Newlin, who was there as a graduate 
student. When he returned in February of 1940, Friends gave 
him a standing ovation on his safe arrival home from wartorn 
Europe. They also welcomed him back as clerk of the meeting. 
Then in 1947, the entire Newlin family returned to Switzerland 
with a minute from New Garden, as Algie assumed duties with 
the American Friends Service Committee and the Friends Ser- 
vice Council in Geneva. They were able to render very useful 
service in this difficult post-war period in Europe until they 
returned in late 1949. These were only the early years of a 
lifetime of service to Friends in North Carolina and throughout 
the world. 12 

When Myra Binford was a member of New Garden in 1941, 
she was given a sojourning minute to the Highgate Friends 
Meeting in Jamaica, where she was to serve as matron of the 
Highgate Friends School. 13 On her return on furlough in 1946, 
she became one of eight persons who were given public recogni- 
tion as they prepared to leave for foreign service. They were: J. 
Floyd and Lucretia Moore, to Ram Allah, Jordan; Myra Bin- 
ford, to Jamaica; Alice Dixon and Ruth Field to Japan; Louetta 
Knight, to visit Friends in Mexico; William Edgerton, to Ger- 
many and Poland for the American Friends Service Committee; 
and David Stafford, to China, also for the American Friends 
Service Committee. 14 

In 1965, Howard T. Hinshaw, at that time a medical student, 
was given a minute for service at Friends Hospital at Kaimosi, 
Kenya, Africa. 15 In the same year, Carroll and Mary Feagins 
were with the Conference for Diplomats of the American 
Friends Service Committee in India, and reported on their 

11 Ibid., July 24, 1929. 

12 Ibid., March 22, 1939. 

13 Ibid., February 26, 1941. 

14 Ibid., September 26, 1946. 

15 Ibid., May 28, 1965. 



activities in letters to the monthly meeting. 16 In 1967, Stuart 
Maynard, jr. (Rusty) was given a minute for service with the 
Friends Hospital at Kaimosi, Kenya. A letter from Josiah Em- 
be go praised his work there. 17 In 1968, and again in 1971, John 
and Margaret Coltrane were given minutes for service in Jamai- 
ca. 18 James Upchurch was engaged in American Friends Service 
Committee work in Mexico in the 1960's, to be followed by 
further service on low-cost housing in Florida. 19 Later, he served 
with the U.S. Department of State in Botswana, Africa. In 1971, 
Mark and Donna Smith were given a minute to visit Seaside 
Friends Meeting in Jamaica. 20 

Hiram and Janet Hilty came to New Garden in 1948 fol- 
lowing a term of service with Friends in Cuba, and in the years 
following were given occasional minutes for further service in 
Mexico and Cuba. David and Bonnie Parsons gave extended 
periods of service to Algeria through the Peace Corps. David 
Wrenn served with the Peace Corps in Korea, and Molly and 
Linda Maynard were civilian teachers for children of American 
personnel abroad for extended periods. This by no means 
exhausts the long list of persons from New Garden who have 
traveled "in Truth's service" in every decade of this century. 

The interest in peace activities noted in 1886, continued and 
increased in many other ways, involving the monthly meeting in 
a direct way. In 1890, the meeting approved a petition opposing 
the immense appropriations for military purposes being pro- 
posed in Congress. In 1890, a minute opposed a bill requiring 
"military drill" in the public schools, and in the same year 
Lyndon Hobbs reported to the meeting on his attendance at an 
Arbitration Conference in Washington. 21 Franklin S. Blair, an 
elder and sometime clerk of the meeting, was a prominent 
peace activist. He attended the Quaker-sponsored Lake Mo- 
honk Conference on Peace and Arbitration held at Lake Mo- 

16 Ibid., April 28, 1965. 

17 Ibid., November 22, 1967. 

18 Ibid., July 25, 1968; November 3, 1971. 

19 Ibid., January 1 1, 1968. 

20 Ibid., March 3, 1971. 

21 Ibid., March 28, 1896; April 25, 1896. 



honk, New York, in 1909. 22 In 1910, he reported having 
"delivered many lectures on peace and arbitration." 

In the flurry of peace activities preceding the First World 
War, it is impossible to separate meeting and college. In 1906, a 
prize was being offered for the best college essay on peace, 
which interested the meeting fully as much as the college. 23 In 
1912, seven colleges met in Raleigh for the State Peace Speak- 
ing Contest, and the winner was a Guilford student named 
Bryant Smith. 24 These contests continued for many years and 
were regularly reported to the monthly meeting by the Peace 
and Social Concerns Committee. All efforts failed, however, 
and in 1917 the United States entered the First World War. 
Conscription was imposed on May 18, 1917, and the minutes 
reflect deep concern in the meeting. 

New Garden Friends knew of and supported the work of the 
American Friends Service Committee from the time of its in- 
ception in 1917. Paul Furnas, Field Secretary of the Service 
Committee, and also Chairman of the Board of Young Friends 
Activities, visited the meeting in December of that year to ex- 
plain the relief and reconstruction work being carried on in 
Europe at that time. 25 Two years later, Richard Hobbs, a young 
member who had just returned from France, where he had 
served with the Friends Reconstruction Unit, narrated a "magic 
lantern" show on Friends relief work in France. 26 Women in the 
meeting were active in relief work, reporting in June of 1920 
that they had sent forty-five "little garments" to the American 
Friends Service Committee for Serbian relief. 27 

As the First World War receded, New Garden Friends joined 
with Quakers everywhere in opposing the arms race and en- 
couraging efforts at peaceful settlement of disputes. In 1921, 
the meeting supported the Disarmament Conference in Wash- 
ington, and joined with other churches across the state in 
keeping its doors open on November 11, Armistice Day, for 

22 Ibid., May 22, 1909. 

23 Ibid., June 23, 1906. 

24 Ibid., January 6, 1912. 

25 Ibid., December 22, 1917. 

26 Ibid., June 28, 1919. 

27 Ibid., June 26, 1920. 



meditation and prayers for peace. 28 Indeed, it is interesting to 
be reminded that November 1 1 , which has been turned into 
Veteran's Day and an occasion for beating war drums, was long 
a rallying day for peace. State peace oratorical contests were 
continued, and in 1923 the first prize went to a youth named 
Russell Branson, a future pastor of New Garden Meeting. 29 In 
1929, fifteen sixth and seventh graders in the Guilford Public 
School participated in a Peace Contest, and the American 
Friends Service Committee awarded two silver medals to the 
winners. 30 

The pastor from 1922 to 1931 was Joseph Peele, son of 
Albert and Mary Peele, who have appeared earlier in our 
chronicle. We turn to Clara Farlow for a profile of the second 
stated pastor of New Garden Meeting: 

Joseph Peele was a quiet, thoughtful man, always con- 
siderate of people around him. He never raised his voice in 
anger, nor spoke unkindly to anyone about anyone. Being 
the son of Albert and Mary Peele, and a native of the New 
Garden area, he was naturally conservative in his preach- 
ing and teaching. His prayers were short, but so meaning- 
ful. It was just as though he was talking with his Heavenly 
Father for a moment. 

He was wonderful in his ministry to the sick and trou- 
bled. No one could conduct a more beautiful funeral 
service than he. He was humble, unassuming and serious 
minded. However, he could enjoy a funny story. His laugh 
had a lovely ring to it. 31 

8 Ibid., October 22, 1921. 

9 Ibid., June 23, 1923. 

Ibid., May 22, 1929. 

1 Prepared by Clara Farlow. 


The Depression Years 
and World War II 

No droning monthly meeting minutes can adequately reflect 
the agony of the Great Depression. It appears in scattered 
references to financial stringency, and certain tensions which 
were probably due to money problems more than anything else. 
Perhaps the most dramatic symbol of the financial shock was the 
matter of the parsonage. 

The meeting, of course, had never had a parsonage before, 
since it never had a parson, but in 1919 a committee was 
appointed to study the matter. 1 It was three years before it was 
decided to build a parsonage "located on the NW corner near 
the intersection of the roads in front of the brick store." 2 This 
would place it somewhere in the block between the Wilco Ser- 
vice Station and the First Union Bank, the intersection having 
been altered since then. None of the buildings standing then 
remain. The parsonage was to cost $4,000. This was not carried 
out, however, and then the meeting bought "the Thomas 
place," which later was deemed unsuitable and resold. Next it 
was decided to buy the Mary C. Woody place for $15,000, which 
included five acres of land. 3 This also was directly across Friend- 
ly Road from the meeting property, and was actually part of the 
property sold to John W. Woody in 1884 by the meeting. Part 
of this land was sold for $5000, but hard times came and the 

1 NGMMM, September 27, 1919. 

2 Ibid., September 23, 1922. 

3 Ibid., October 27, 1923. 



meeting was unable to keep up the payments on the remaining 
portion of the property on which the house stood. It was finally 
sold in 1929, but the new purchaser defaulted on his payments. 
New Garden had learned about The Great Depression. 4 

Obviously, The Depression for New Garden began well be- 
fore the great Wall Street Crash of 1929. In 1926, New Garden 
asked the Yearly Meeting to release it from a deficit in payments 
of $1,1 7 2. 70. 5 During that period a pro-rata system was estab- 
lished for paying bills, there being only $3,700 on hand to meet 
debts of $7,075. 6 From the pro-rata system, they went to paying 
only indispensable bills. The meeting requested aid from the 
Yearly Meeting and from the college, the latter helping with 
$200. 7 Friends women raised $600 in 1927. 8 By 1931, things 
had reached such a pass that Ministry and Oversight reported 
that it would be impossible to meet the pastor's salary, and 
Joseph Peele resigned in order to save the meeting money. 9 At 
this the meeting demurred. Instead, they cut back on janitorial 
service, reduced insurance premiums, and turned to buying 
coal from the college at wholesale. 10 It was about 1936 before 
things began to balance out as the New Deal grappled with the 
problem at the national level. Indeed, in that year the New 
Garden Cemetery Association, since 1929 a semi-independent 
corporation, received assistance from the federal government 
by way of the Soil Erosion Service for reseeding the entire 
cemetery. 11 

With the rise of Hitler in Germany, it became clear that there 
was a growing danger of another great war. Letters and public 
statements place Friends on record as fearing and opposing the 
conflict which was to erupt in 1939. Dr. Elwood Perisho, a 
professor of geology who occupied a variety of posts at Guilford 
College, was a strong peace activist in the meeting at the time. 

4 Ibid., August 24, 1927. 

5 Ibid., July 29, 1926. 

6 Ibid., November 24, 1926. 

7 Ibid., June 22, 1927. 

8 Ibid. 

9 Ibid., April 22, 1931. 

10 Ibid., July 27, 1932. 

11 Ibid., May 27, 1936. 



In 1928, he wrote President Coolidge urging ratification of the 
Briand-Kellog Peace Pact. Fifty members of the meeting were 
persuaded to sign a petition opposing the Cruiser Bill. 12 When 
the treaty for the Reduction of Naval Armaments was signed 
in London in 1930, El wood Perisho was there as a witness. 13 

A Peace Booth was set up at the Carolina Fair in Greensboro 
in 1933, and Helen Binford, wife of the president emeritus of 
Guilford College and a vigorous peace activist, was in charge of 
it. 14 The Peace Committee of New Garden joined with the 
American Friends Service Committee in sponsoring the Second 
Institute of International Relations at Guilford College in 1934, 
and this arrangement was continued until 1941, when, in the 
midst of war, it was dropped "for lack of interest. 15 Within the 
meeting, however, there was still strong anti-war sentiment. 
Helen Binford and Ruth Beittei attended a Peace Mobilization in 
Washington, and the meeting sent telegrams to senators urging 
them to keep the country out of the war. 16 But once again, all 
efforts were futile, and the United States entered the Second 
World War after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on 
December 7, 1941. 

The pastor during those pre-war years was a gentle man 
named Herbert Huffman. Again we turn to Clara Farlow: 

Herbert Huffman was a deeply spiritual man — never 
boasting about what he thought or believed, but living a life 
that reflected the beauty in his heart. He was neither ortho- 
dox nor conservative. His messages and his teachings were 
in between. Here was a truly dedicated Christian. If there 
were difficulties, he faced them with courage and a gen- 
erous spirit. He never complained or felt sorry for himself. 
He once said: "If someone hands you a lemon, make the 
best lemonade out of it you can." 

The life of this tender man came to an untimely end in 
1938, after only a little over three years of service. He died 
of cancer in St. Leo's Hospital in Greensboro, and the 

12 Ibid., February 20, 1929. 

13 Ibid., June 25, 1930. 

14 Ibid., June 28, 1933. 

15 Ibid., February 16, 1941. 

16 Ibid., June 26, 1940. 



funeral service was held in the meeting house the following 
Sunday morning at 1 1 :oo. He was buried in the New Gar- 
den Cemetery. 

After the reimposition of conscription and the entry of the 
United States into the Second World War, much attention was 
given by the monthly meeting to the Civilian Public Service 
Camp for Conscientious Objectors at Buck Creek, North Caro- 
lina. 17 Walter Coble was especially active in raising funds to 
support these young men who were working for the Park Ser- 
vice without pay, Raymond and Helen Binford were the direc- 
tors of the camp, and there was continuous contact with it from 
the meeting. Actually, there were no young men from New 
Garden in the camp, although three alumni of Buck Creek 
eventually became associated with the meeting: Edward Bur- 
rows, Kidd Lockard, and Cyrus Johnson. Carroll Feagins, Sr., 
was in a Civilian Public Service Camp at Gatlinburg, Tennessee. 
Charles Hendricks, a Quaker neighbor associated with the 
Springfield Meeting, was at Buck Creek. 

In 1943, Ruth Beittel expressed concern that New Garden 
Young Friends were not sufficiently under the influence of the 
Quaker Peace Testimony. 18 In this she was correct, for most of 
the young men had responded willingly to the call to military 
service. In view of this, the meeting decided in 1942 to send 
letters expressing "love and Christian care" to 31 young men 
then in the armed forces, fifteen of them actually members of 
the meeting. 19 Hugh White, a professional photographer who 
was a member of the meeting, made prints of the meeting 
house which were enclosed, along with a copy of the American 
Friend, to the young soldiers. 20 By 1943, it was reported that 
fifty-seven members and former members of the meeting were 
in the armed forces, eight of them overseas. 21 In 1944, Friends 
were saddened to learn that Tom Jones had been killed in 

17 Ibid., November 26, 1941. 

18 Ibid., January 27, 1943. 

19 Ibid., November 25, 1942. 

20 Ibid., December 23, 1943. 

21 Ibid., June 23, 1943. 



action over Darwin, Australia. Lee White, the son of a Guilford 
College instructor, was also killed. 22 

The war struck directly in the New Garden Community on 
September 13, 1943. On that date, at five o'clock in the after- 
noon, an armed Navy plane crashed into the Oliver Knight home 
and exploded. Father Oliver was not in the house at the time, 
but the other members of the family were engaged in their rou- 
tine peaceful pursuits. The two occupants of the plane were 
killed instantly, and as the plane exploded the mother, Alta, 
daughters Wilma Lea (19) and Dorothy Louise (11), and son 
Oliver N., Jr. (7), were killed in a flash. Daughter Cornelia and 
Aunt Louetta Knight escaped through windows as the house 
was consumed by flames. 

The Knight family tragedy made a profound impression on 
the community. The minutes of the meeting contain warm trib- 
utes to each of the victims, expressing the deep sense of loss 
felt by all. Wilma Lea was a rising junior at Guilford College at 
the time, and a member of the A Capella Choir. She was pre- 
paring to return to the college when the tragedy occurred. 23 

As the war drew to a close, Friends were in prayer for the 
success of the meeting in San Francisco which gave birth to the 
United Nations Organization, as it was then called. There was 
deep concern that mankind should not again be led into the 
madness of war. Through the international relief services of 
Floyd Moore, William Edgerton and David Stafford, New Gar- 
den was able to contribute personally, and with generous mon- 
etary aid, to the healing of the wounds of war. A special chan- 
nel of aid to the destitute in Germany was Gertrude Victorius, 
herself, along with her family, a refugee from that country only 
a few years before. Letters from grateful recipients were read in 
the meeting. 24 

The pastor during the war years, and in the early post-war 
period, was Russell Branson, a graduate of Guilford College 
and the Hartford Theological Seminary. He had sojourned 
with the meeting during his college years. Branson was a native 

22 Ibid., January 26, 1944 (Tom Jones). Lee White from oral reports. 

23 Ibid., October 27, 1943. 

24 Ibid., December 31, 1946. 



of North Carolina and came to New Garden following pastoral 
service in New York Yearly Meeting. He knew and understood 
his people. Branson's pastorate came at a time when the rela- 
tionship with Guilford Collge was still intimate, and his ministry 
addressed the dual town-and-gown community. A person of 
tender religious sensibilities, he encouraged the cultivation of 
personal religious experience among the membership. At the 
same time, he was much concerned about issues related to social 
justice and peace. When he resigned in 1949, he entered a long 
period of service with the Southeastern Regional Office of the 
American Friends Service Committee. 

The continuing interest in peace brought such persons as Dr. 
Amiya Chakravarty, of Calcutta, to New Garden. In 1948, he 
spoke in the meeting for worship "stressing Ghandi's practise of 
the doctrine of non-violence or truth force." 25 Ada Field, a 
vigorous peace advocate, reporting for the Peace and Social 
Concerns Committee, urged increased aid to the American 
Friends Service Committee relief fund, and cooperation with 
the Carolina Institute of International Relations, then meeting 
at the Woman's College in Greensboro. Another of her inter- 
ests, which she shared with a number of New Garden Friends, 
was the World Federalist Movement, which maintained a chap- 
ter in Greensboro. 26 

In 1948, for the first time since the First World War, a Young 
Friend came forward in New Garden Meeting to declare his con- 
scientious objection to military service. His name was Howard 
Coble. 27 The next year, Byron Branson asked that a minute be 
recorded affirming his acceptance of the historic Quaker posi- 
tion on military service. 28 In view of the conflict in Korea, and the 
growing unhappiness with the draft, the New Garden Quarterly 
Meeting appointed a committee to discuss Friends' opposition 
to conscription with the local draft board. Harvey Ljung, of 
New Garden Meeting, was named chairman of this committee, 
which duly carried out its assignment. 29 In 1955, the clerk of the 

25 Ibid., May 2, 1948. 

26 Ibid., June 23, 1948. 

27 Ibid., October 27, 1948. 

28 Ibid,, May 25, 1949. 

29 Ibid., January 23, 1952. 



The parsonage stands where the old monthly meeting school stood before the 
public school of 1900-192 5. 

meeting reported that about fifty Young Friends had attended 
a Quaker Lake Conference on the draft. 30 

It was in 1948 that Friends had the courage to bring up the 
matter of a parsonage again. Russell Branson had lived in his 
own house, but as his pastorate came to a close, it became 
necessary to provide a home for his successor. This time things 
worked out better — not, perhaps, because of any greater 
dedication on the part of members, but because the country was 
in an era of prosperity. This is the parsonage which stands 
today. It was built at a cost of $14,600.73, and was completed in 
1950. 31 It stands on the sight of the old monthly meeting school, 
which later became the graded public school. At the time the 
parsonage was built, it had long been a vacant lot. At the 
December meeting in 1952, Jean Coble, chairperson of the 
building committee, announced that all debts had been paid. In 
the meantime, the parsonage had been insulated, a garage and 
toolhouse had been built, and a new organ and piano pur- 
chased. All this, too, had now been paid. 32 

30 Ibid., May 25, 1955. 

31 Ibid., June 28, 1950. 

32 Ibid., December 28, 1952. 



The first occupant of the new parsonage was Charles Thom- 
as, who became pastor in 1950 and moved in with his family. He 
had previously served on the staff of the Five Years Meeting in 
Richmond, Indiana. He brought with him his skill for organiza- 
tion gained from his experience with that body. The scattered 
committees of the meeting were brought together into a more 
meaningful relationship through the establishment of a Co- 
ordinating Committee. A thoughtful and studious person, 
Charles Thomas often discussed theological questions in his 
sermons, lifting Friends from the simplistic formulations into 
which some had fallen. There was charisma in the ministry of 
Charles and Lucille Thomas, for she was also held in excep- 
tional regard by the New Garden family. In the years following 
their time in North Carolina, many Friends have retained a 
friendly relationship with the family. 

By 1958, increasing concern began to be expressed about the 
threat of nuclear war. Algie Newlin reported in March on his 
attendance at a Disarmament Conference at Wilmington Col- 
lege (Ohio). 33 The meeting received an expression of concern 
from the Quarterly Meeting about the hazards of biological and 
radiological warfare. Evelyn Copeland, then a student at Guil- 
ford College, reported in i960 on a Peace Pilgrimage to Wash- 
ington in which there were 900 participants, thirteen of them 
Young Friends from North Carolina. Following the Washing- 
ton Pilgrimage, 37 Young Friends went on to New York to 
express their support of the United Nations. 34 David Stafford 
presented a statement on peace and in support of the United 
Nations for Friends to sign at the same session. 35 

In 1961, a Peace Institute was held at New Garden Meeting 
House with Benjamin Wegesa of Africa speaking. 36 During the 
same year, three members of the meeting attended the Con- 
ference on World Order held in Richmond, Indiana. Algie and 
Eva Newlin attended a gathering of the Historic Peace 
Churches at Germantown, Ohio, which was to eventuate in the 

33 Ibid., March 26, 1958. 

34 Ibid., November 23, i960. 

35 Ibid. 

36 Ibid., April 26, 1961. 



New Call to Peacemaking Movement. 37 The interminable war in 
Vietnam commanded the attention of New Garden Meeting in 
August of 1966 when a special session of the monthly meeting 
was called to discuss and approve a statement condemning the 
bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong. The statement was sent to 
members of congress, editors, and to the United Nations. 38 

As Friends who share our society's historical emphasis on 
peace, we wish to make our position publicly known. Just as 
we deplore war in general, we deplore the present war. 

Both Americans and Vietnamese are dying and a small 
country is being destroyed. We question whether the fruits 
of victory are worth the price that is being paid in lives and 

We are especially opposed to the present escalation of 
the war, feeling that increasing the number of American 
troops in Viet Nam and extending the bombing to Hanoi 
and Haiphong are wrong as well as futile. 

We plead that the policy of continuous escalation be re- 
versed and that everything possible be done to end the 
hostilities. More specifically, we urge that solutions be 
sought (by) negotiation, either directly or through an inter- 
national organization, rather than through the use of 
bullets and napalm. 

There was an acceleration during this period of Young 
Friends attending seminars in Washington and New York. A 
stready stream of them became involved in discussions on peace 
and international relations at the United Nations, and were 
challenged by the vigorous efforts of the Friends Committee on 
National Legislation in Washington. No previous generation of 
Young Friends had been exposed to comparable opportunities 
to discuss peacemaking with ambassadors, congressmen, tech- 
nical experts and political activists. 

Aldean Pitts, a young Texan who came to New Garden by 
way of Friends University, Asbury Theological Seminary, and 
pastoral work in Indiana, was pastor of New Garden from 1958 
to 1966. 

37 Ibid., March 28, 1962. 

38 Ibid., August 6, 1966. 



Harvey Ljung recalls that Aldean Pitts "carried out his work 
with loving care and thoughtfulness. His guidance was excel- 
lent, his approach gentle, and he was thoughtful in his relation- 
ships with individuals and the meeting. He was a complete 
gentleman in all respects." Being in the full vigor of youth at the 
time, Pitts appealed especially to young people, and numbers of 
young families were attracted to the meeting through his minis- 
try. He was a person of strong convictions, and his preaching 
stressed especially the ethical imperatives of the Christian 


Institutional Growth. 
A New Meeting House 

As the Second World War and the Great Depression receded, 
some of the earlier trends of the twentieth century resumed. 
The movement toward "professionalism" in New Garden and 
other monthly meetings extended to the Yearly Meeting, and 
indeed was fostered by it. Over the years, for example, New Gar- 
den ministers Albert Peele and Mary C. Woody had served the 
Yearly Meeting without pay as "secretaries of evangelism," but 
in 1915 Lewis W. McFarland was employed as full-time Superin- 
tendent of Evangelism. This position lapsed during the Depres- 
sion, but in 1935 Murray C.Johnson was employed as Executive 
Secretary of the Yearly Meeting. 1 Since that time, this position 
has been maintained and several secretaries have brought their 
membership to New Garden Meeting. 

In 1947, as Isaac Harris became Executive Secretary of the 
Yearly Meeting, an adjourned session of New Garden Meeting 
approved a transfer of land which it owned east of New Garden 
Road, to Guilford College, in exchange for land west of New 
Garden Road to which the college held title. 2 The purpose of 
this musical-chairs exchange was to make land available for the 
home and office of the new Executive Secretary. The meeting 
also raised $500 to help with the building of the home. This is 
the house in which the offices of North Carolina Yearly Meeting 
are now located, a new residence for the Executive Secretary of 

1 NGMMM, October 1, 1947; NCYMM, vol. XVI, p. 87. 

2 NGMMM, January 28, 1922. 



the Yearly Meeting having been acquired on Ridgecrest Drive 
in 1962. 

There had been many changes at New Garden since the fine 
new building was erected in 1912. It must have seemed at that 
time that it would be adequate for at least a hundred years. It 
was certainly as solidly built as Founders Hall, which stood 
across the campus from it at Guilford College and was still a 
revered landmark after almost a century. But it was not to be. A 
few changes were made quite soon: the basement had been only 
partially excavated, and it was expanded to make room for 
more classrooms. 3 The pastor's study was set up in the meeting 
house, and in 1930 a telephone was installed through the gen- 
erosity of the Missionary Society. 4 

The space for the Sunday School was a long-time problem. 
The college permitted the use of the Y.M.C.A.-Music Building 
across the street, but the basement classrooms were a continual 
annoyance. Fellowship suppers were cramped in the basement 
quarters, and the kitchen was increasingly inadequate. On the 
other hand, the large main meeting room was more than large 
enough. It was designed to accommodate the sessions of the 
Yearly Meeting, which had returned to New Garden with the 
completion of the new building in 1912. (From 1905 to 1911 it 
had met in Memorial Hall at Guilford College.) 5 Although New 
Garden now had a membership of about 500, the number of 
active members in 1961 was only 396. 6 A three-month check in 
1939 had shown an average attendance of 185. 7 Even when 
attendance was "good" it seemed small in the great hall. 

Nevertheless, when a committee was named to plan a new 
building in 1944, the concern which eventually emerged was for 
more classroom space. In 1953, a new committee recom- 
mended the addition of 3,000 square feet of floor space for 
educational facilities. 8 Four years later, another building com- 
mittee presented a plan for an Educational Building between 

3 Ibid., January 28, 1922. 

4 Ibid., August 18, 1930. 

5 Hinshaw & Hinshaw, Op. Cit., p. 41. 

6 NGMMM, July 26, 1961. 

7 Ibid., December 22, 1939. 

8 Ibid., May 27, 1953. 



the meeting house and New Garden Road. The price was to be 
$100,000. With only $23,207.50 in the building fund, the 
meeting sent the matter back to the committee. 9 A new plan 
called for remodeling the old building and adding a three-story 
addition, again at a cost of $100,000. This also proved unac- 
ceptable to the meeting. 10 Understandably, the committee was 

Unable to achieve unity in the matter, the meeting appointed 
still another committee to restudy the whole matter of the needs 
of the meeting. It was decided to invite Scott Ritenour, a spe- 
cialist in church building matters, from the National Council of 
Churches in New York. The possibility of abandoning the old 
building and moving across the street had been discussed, and 
this was the option strongly endorsed by Mr. Ritenour. He 
urged the meeting to serve the children and young people of 
the meeting as a first priority. He also suggested that moving off 
the college campus would help establish the meeting's identity 
as an independent institution, encouraging the interest of non- 
college people. In this, the meeting concurred. 11 

A new committee was now appointed, and at last effective 
unity was achieved. In searching for models for the new 
meeting house, the committee felt especially drawn to the Stout 
Memorial Meeting House at Earlham College, and the Florida 
Avenue Meeting in Washington, D.C., although the eventual 
design bears little resemblance to either. The plans were drawn 
and funds were raised with the help of Leonard Hall from the 
Friends United Meeting. 12 The total project, including a large 
worship room, was budgeted at $166,000, but the final decision 
was to build the Educational Building only at a cost of 
$1 16,000. 13 The worship room would come later. 

Since the old meeting house had been a joint venture of New 
Garden Meeting and North Carolina Yeany Meeting, joint 
committees were formed to deal with that property. In the end, 
Guilford College, however reluctantly, purchased the old build- 

9 Ibid., June 27, 1957. 

10 Ibid., October 6, 1957. 

11 Ibid., October 22, 1958. 

12 Ibid., February 25, 1959. 

13 Ibid., July 27, i960. 



The 1961 meeting house stands in the lovely "suitable grove" cleared in i88y. 

ing and eventually remodeled it to become the present Admin- 
istration Building, known as New Garden Hall. The location of 
the new meeting house brought New Garden Friends back near 
the site of the original one. Actually, it was placed in a wooded 
area which was part of the seemingly interminable oak forest 
described (and sketched) by John Collins in 1869. In 1887, the 
meeting had instructed the House and Grounds Committee to 
clear the grounds "on the east side of the graveyard, to make it a 
suitable grove. 1,14 It was in this lovely grove that the new meet- 
ing house was built in 1961, two hundred and seven years after 
the monthly meeting was organized and met in a crude log 
structure near the present site. 

The meeting made the dedication of the new building on 
November 26, 1961, a time of special celebration and commit- 
ment to a new era of fellowship and service. Norval Webb, then 
Executive Secretary of Western Yearly Meeting, was invited to 
speak, and Friends from other meetings and Guilford College 

14 Ibid., April 27, 1887. 



were invited to share in the joy of this new beginning. 15 

When it was decided to postpone the building of the main 
worship room, the meeting authorized the building committee 
to alter the plans of the huge "storage space" in the basement to 
permit its use as a fellowship hall. 16 This area came to be known 
as Norvell Hall because of a generous gift of furniture by Joy 
Norvell. At the same time, the original Fellowship Hall on the 
main floor was altered to make it suitable as a worship room. 
Padded folding chairs were chosen instead of benches, and they 
were arranged in a semicircular pattern often found in unpro- 
grammed meetings. This arrangement pleased many Friends as 
conducive to a closer feeling of fellowship and more active 
participation in the meeting for worship. There were others 
who regarded it as a temporary arrangement. 

No longer was it necessary to provide hitching posts for 
horses as had been done in 1886. The problem now was what to 
do with all the cars, and the meeting authorized borrowing an 
additional $6,000 to pave the parking lot. 17 Among the special 
attractions of the new meeting house were a few benches from 
the old (1884) meeting house, a table made from boards which 
had originally been used in the 1791 meeting house, and the old 
clock purchased in 1895 which had been rescued from the 1912 
building. 18 The ancient Revolutionary Oak in the cemetery had 
died following a mysterious explosion that occurred while Elea- 
nor Roosevelt was speaking to a racially integrated meeting at 
New Garden in 1955, and wood from this tree was used to make 
collection plates which were donated to the meeting by James 
Crutchfield. 19 Perhaps the most elegant touch in the new 
building was the parlor, which was carpeted and equipped with 
comfortable furniture. A fine portrait of The Youthful William 
Penn was hung over the fireplace. This painting was given by 
Helen Robertson Wohl (Mrs. Stanley), of Annapolis, Maryland, 
a former member of the meeting, and other members of the 
Robertson family. This family had previously lived on College 

15 Ibid., August 23, 1961. 

16 Ibid., March 22, 1961. 

17 Ibid., September 27, 1961. 

18 Ibid., April 25, 1962. 

19 Ibid., November 22, 1961. 



Road, opposite the public school. Helen Wohl believed that the 
portrait was done by the same artist who had painted a portrait 
of Penn which was then hanging in City Hall in Philadelphia. 20 

Friends were faithful in meeting their mortgage paymenis, 
and in March, 1969, Tom Cannady, the treasurer, announced 
that the new plant was debt free. 21 It had taken less than eight 
years to retire the debt. 

As Scott Ritenour had predicted, New Garden Meeting was 
indeed able to affirm its identity better in the new setting. The 
building was less frequently mistaken for a college building, and 
the Yearly Meeting sessions were moved to the new 1000-seat 
Dana Auditorium at Guilford College. New Garden Friends 
were on their own in a new sense. 

20 Ibid., June 27, 1962. 

21 Ibid., March 23, 1969. 


The World Conference 

More than ever, Friends were traveling the world with minutes 
from New Garden Meeting. For some time, efforts had been 
made to bring together diverse groups of Quakers, and in 1937 
a Friends World Conference was held at Swarthmore College. 
Five members from New Garden had attended that meeting, 
and among them was Clyde A. Milner, President of Guilford 
College. 1 He and his wife Ernestine also attended the Friends 
World Conference held at Oxford University in England in 
1952. A fifteen-year interval would conclude in 1967, and 
Friends in North Carolina began to spread the word that they 
would be pleased to be the hosts. In 1961, J. Floyd Moore, 
Clyde A. Milner and B. Tartt Bell attended a planning session 
of the Friends World Committee in Kaimosi, Kenya, Africa, 
and officially tendered the invitation of Guilford College to 
hold the 1967 World Conference at that place. 2 Three years 
later, Floyd Moore was in attendance at a Friends World Com- 
mittee meeting at Water ford, Ireland, at which time he gave an 
official invitation to Friends there from New Garden Meeting. 3 
Partially in preparation for this conference, Clyde and Ernes- 
tine Milner, having just retired from Guilford College, em- 
barked on a round-the-world tour in 1965. They carried with 
them a travel minute from New Garden Meeting, and when 
they returned it to the monthly meeting in September of 1967, 
they reported that it had been read forty-four times in countries 
all over the world. 4 

1 NGMMM, October 27, 1937. 

2 Ibid., August 23, 1961. 

3 Ibid., June 24, 1964. 

4 Ibid., September 27, 1967. 



The Friends World Conference would place heavy responsi- 
bility on New Garden Meeting, since it was to be held at Guil- 
ford College. There would be 900 official delegates from all 
over the world who would be housed basically in dormitories at 
Guilford College and at the University of North Carolina at 
Greensboro. 5 Nevertheless, many heavy duties would devolve 
upon New Garden Meeting. Eva Newlin was chairperson of the 
committee which arranged for delegates to spend a Visiting 
Weekend at monthly meetings throughout the state, and Mary 
Evans was named to arrange for the sixty-five who would be 
entertained by members of New Garden. 6 

David Meredith called for volunteers to transport persons to 
and from the airport, and the House and Grounds Committee 
undertook to get the six-year-old meeting house in order. Vol- 
unteers worked two nights cleaning and getting everything 
ready for the World Conference. On July 23, over two hundred 
delegates met in the worship room for a World Conference 
Round Table. 7 

Since Dana Auditorium would be completely filled by official 
delegates and staff, few local Friends would be able to attend 
the plenary sessions. In view of this, a telephone hook-up was 
arranged with a loudspeaker in the worship room at New Gar- 
den so non-delegates could follow the sessions. Members of 
Ministry and Counsel presided over these gatherings to see that 
good order was maintained. 8 

Quite a number of New Garden Friends were involved in the 
planning and conducting of the World Conference. J. Floyd 
Moore was given a leave of absence from Guilford College to 
give full time to the huge task of advance planning and di- 
recting the conference as its Executive Director. Of the sixty- 
three members of the Planning Committee from the Western 
Hemisphere, four were from New Garden: J. Floyd Moore, 
Dorothy Gilbert Thorne, Eva Newlin and Hiram Hilty. Five of 
the fifty-five delegates from the North Carolina Yearly Meeting 
(FUM) were from New Garden: Seth B. Hinshaw, Grimsley 

5 From the literature of the Friends World Conference. 

6 New Garden Newsletter, July 20, 1967. 

7 Ibid. 

8 Ibid. 



U-Thant, Secretary-General of 
the United Nations, addressed 
the World Conference of Friends 
in ic)6j. 

Hobbs, Clyde A. Milner, Algie I. Newlin and John Pipkin. 
With direct responsibilities for the conference were: 
Clyde A. Milner, Chairperson of the Committee for Ob- 

Eva Newlin, Chairperson in Charge of Local Arrangements, 
and member of the Conference Advisory Council. 

Hiram Hilty, Go-Chairman of the Committee for Interpreta- 
tion and Translation. 9 

As a special service to foreigners, a group of women headed 
by Margaret Coltrane set up a gift shop for delegates at New 
Garden. Among the items featured were ceramic plates and 
tiles depicting New Garden Meeting House. Most popular of all 
were little Quaker dolls dressed by Friends women from all over 
the state. All this, of course, took an enormous amount of 
advance preparation. 10 

On Sunday night, July 30, New Garden Friends joined 
Friends from all over the state, and the general public in 
Greensboro, in attending a lecture in the Greensboro Coliseum 
by U-Thant, Secretary General of the United Nations. 11 

9 Algie I. Newlin has aided in the preparation of this summary. 

10 New Garden Newsletter, July 20, 1967. 

11 Ibid. 



The entire experience was a memorable one. Jack Kirk, then 
pastoral minister, commended New Garden Friends for their 
part in it. "The world knows about us now," he said, "and the 
eyes of Quakers around the world will be on us in the future." 12 
J. Floyd Moore, as Executive Director of the Friends World 
Conference, wrote a letter to the monthly meeting expressing 
his thanks to New Garden Friends for their important part in 
making the conference a success. 13 

Before and after the World Conference, when so many 
Friends from afar visited New Garden, Friends continued to 
relate to the world community through visitation and service. In 
1965, there were serious race riots in Los Angeles. Present in 
the city at the time, and actually working in the affected area, 
was Abigail Moore, who was in the service of the American 
Friends Service Committee. 14 She later worked for the Peace 
Corps in Liberia. Becky Short was given a minute for travel to 
Japan in 1969. 15 It was almost routine when Floyd and Lucretia 
Moore reported attendance at a gathering of the Friends World 
Committee in Upsala, Sweden, in 1970, to be followed by subse- 
quent travel minutes for Australia, Japan, Ireland, Holland and 
Switzerland. 16 Visitation was often a two-way street, as in 1971 
when members of the meeting served as hosts to thirty-two 
guests of the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage, many of them from 
foreign countries. 17 

During the five eventful years which included the World 
Conference, Jack Kirk provided pastoral leadership for New 
Garden Meeting. Jack and Janet Kirk came to New Garden at a 
time when they were quite young and were thus able to empa- 
thize with young people and the parents of young children. 
The young family was adopted by New Garden Friends with 
much affection. Reared among Pennsylvania Friends, Jack Kirk 
combined the traditional values of Friends with his training at 
Earlham and Butler to speak well to the condition of Friends at 

12 Ibid. 

13 NGMMM, September 27, 1967. 

14 Ibid., June 23, 1965. 

15 Ibid., May 28, 1969. 

16 Ibid., Sept. 2, 1970; Aug. 1, 1973. 

17 Ibid., August 4, 1971. 



New Garden. He is remembered for the spiritual quality of his 
messages, his interest in books and his ability as a teacher of 
Quaker history and values. There has been a feeling of identifi- 
cation with him as he has gone on to serve a wider constitutency 
of Friends. At this writing, he is Field Secretary of the Friends 
United Meeting and Editor of Quaker Life. 


A New Era at New Garden 

Indeed, the decision to move across the street near the ancient 
site proved much more than symbolic. When the Yearly Meet- 
ing established an office in the new home of the Executive 
Secretary in 1948, New Garden Meeting, in a sense, had lost 
some of its traditionally intimate involvement in Yearly Meeting 
affairs, even if the office was just across the street. For many 
years, non-Quaker, as well as Quaker, families had moved into 
the community to educate their children at Guilford College, 
and they often chose to cast their lot with their neighbors at 
New Garden Friends, regardless of previous affiliation. Thus, 
the meeting had become more heterogeneous, and the college's 
spiritual obligations were being broadened at the same time. 
Non-Quaker students far outnumbered Quaker students, and 
compulsory attendance at meeting was only a dim memory of 
the elderly. 

Mingled with the old resident families, many of whom were 
farmers, were recent arrivals of diverse background, some from 
other sections of the country, some from foreign countries, 
some members of the Guilford College faculty, some profes- 
sional people working in Greensboro. That city had ceased to be 
a village, and in the post-war period took on the trappings of a 
budding metropolis. By the 1960's, Friendly Road was no 
longer a rural road connecting two communities, but a major 
city thoroughfare passing through the Guilford suburb on its 
way to the nearby regional airport. Indeed, even the name was 
changed to Friendly Avenue. In 1962, Guilford College was 
annexed to the City of Greensboro, although the meeting prop- 
erty remained outside. 



All this meant a large population growth in the New Garden- 
Guilford College community, and with it a proliferation of 
churches. Within the distance of the old Muir's Chapel Metho- 
dist Church and the Guilford Baptist Church (which had come 
uncomfortably near in 1914), there were seventeen churches by 
1980. The Greensboro telephone directory listed 283 churches. 
Given this overwhelming choice, it is only natural that new- 
comers began to join the churches of their own family traditions 
rather than the New Garden "Community Church." At the 
same time, becoming a Quaker began again to be more a matter 
of principle and less one of convenience. This change was 
perhaps reflected in the low-key, traditional architecture of the 
new meeting house. 

One of the major public issues of the 1950's and 1960's was 
that of racial integration. Given their history in Guilford 
County, and in the State of North Carolina, it was only natural 
that Quakers should be active in promoting racial justice. The 
American Friends Service Committee, working at various times 
out of Greensboro, Chapel Hill and High Point, involved itself 
in actively promoting school integration and equal employment 
opportunity. There were, however, some members of Friends 
in North Carolina, including some at New Garden, who took 
pause at the vigor of these efforts. Nevertheless, when the 
Supreme Court decision of 1954 mandated school integration, 
there were those at New Garden who applauded the decision 
and brought the matter to the monthly meeting in 1955 at a 
time when there was a mood of defiance across the state. The 
monthly meeting did not enter the public controversy, but liber- 
ated those members who felt a concern to proceed as they felt 
moved. A group of Friends then drew up a letter applauding 
the Supreme Court decision and pledging themselves to abide 
by it. The letter was directed to the local school board and bore 
thirty-four signatures, including some non-Friends. 1 This act 
caused considerable consternation in some circles of the white 
community of Greater Greensboro, and received wide media 
attention. In Boston, Floyd and Lucretia Moore read about it in 
the Boston Globe and sent a telegram supporting the action. But 

1 NGMMM, May 31, 1955. Greensboro Daily News, September 3, 4, 1955. 



m - 


Launched the national 
drive for Integrated 
lunch counters, Feb. I. 
I960, in Woolworth 
store 2 blocks south. 

After 200 years race relations continued to be a concern. 

some in the local community were not amused. One signer's 
flourishing business was ruined and he moved out of the state, 
and others received menacing telephone calls. Yet, in the long 
run, Greensboro and Guilford County have achieved notable 
success in school integration and relative racial harmony. 

Later, some members of New Garden were active in the 
efforts surrounding the historic "sit-ins" at the Woolworth 
Lunch Counter in Greensboro in i960, an event which led to 
the integration of public facilities all over the South. The matter 
arose in the monthly meeting, but since unity could not be 
achieved, those who felt a strong concern in the matter were 
encouraged to express their views to the Woolworth manager. 
Again, the sensibilities of some were offended. Aldean Pitts, 
then pastor of the meeting, took a courageous stand in favor of 
equal opportunity for all races. 

These events, along with the proliferation of churches in the 
community, led to a change in the membership of New Garden. 
Query Ten: "Does your attitude toward people of other races 
indicate your belief in their right to equal opportunity . . .?" 
took on a new relevance. Some found themselves unable to 



answer in the affirmative in the context of the times. There was 
a going out and a coming in, as Christians realigned themselves 
with persons of like persuasion. It would be wrong to imply that 
a major upheaval took place, yet it was a significant moment in 
the history of New Garden Friends Meeting. 

The events of the 1950's and the 1960's were a reflection on 
the local level of a great social revolution then occurring na- 
tionally and culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The 
controversy of those years led to unprecedented "peacetime" 
upheaval in the country, with race riots in our major cities, and 
an escalating outcry against the Vietnam War. 

There were other winds of change at New Garden. In 1968, 
the monthly meeting considered a request from a group of 
students and other concerned Friends, to set up a silent meeting 
for worship at 11:00 o'clock on Sundays. The meeting, while 
eager to attend to the wishes of these Friends, was reluctant to 
divide the meeting in this way. A meeting for worship on the 
basis of silence had been held under New Garden auspices at 
9:00 o'clock on Sundays for some time, having begun in the 
home of Frederic and Margaret Crownfield and moving later to 
the Moon Room at Guilford College. The petitioners found this 
an unsuitable time. 2 

The upshot of the matter was that a new meeting was organ- 
ized, to be known as Friendship Meeting. Beginning as a small, 
mostly college group, Friendship Meeting gradually established 
itself as a permanent fellowship, and in due course affiliated 
with the North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative). The 
formation of Friendship Meeting was not a "division" within 
New Garden Meeting, but some of the latter were among its 
organizers and transferred their membership to it. It did 
change the character of New Garden in a number of ways. As 
the move across the street had constituted a public declaration 
of independence from Guilford College, the birth of Friendship 
Meeting offered an immediate alternative to the Guilford Col- 
lege faculty and students. Incoming faculty who were members 
of Friends, or wished to join Friends, were now offered a 
meeting in the traditional pattern, in which there was no stated 

2 NGMMM, May 22, 1968. 



pastoral minister. Friends coming from other areas often found 
this more congenial, since it was in keeping with their own tra- 
dition. The intellectual climate of the meeting also tended to 
be more sympathetic to the convulsive changes then taking 
place in American society. Gradually, the meeting attracted 
non-college community people who shared its concerns and 
preferred unprogrammed worship. Prominent among their 
members were residents of Friends Homes who proceeded 
from General Conference or Conservative monthly meetings. 

On the other hand, the release of New Garden Meeting from 
the image of the Guilford College Church made it easier for 
those outside the college to feel at home at New Garden. The 
status of Guilford College itself had been altered markedly 
within the community. By 1980, there were two universities, 
three other colleges, and a technical institute with several thou- 
sand students in the City of Greensboro. Half-a-dozen other 
such institutions were within commuting distance. Academic 
professionals from these institutions, along with specialists in 
industry and other professions, were increasingly attracted to 
New Garden Meeting. These were persons who shared Friends 
sensitivity to the Spirit and were at one with Friends' social con- 
cerns, but were comfortable with pastoral leadership. Increas- 
ingly, also, New Garden Friends recaptured an appreciation 
for open worship, and this also attracted sensitive and con- 
cerned persons. The designation of "semi-programmed" de- 
scribed well the mode of worship at New Garden in the second 
half of the twentieth century. 

Another significant development at New Garden was the 
establishment of Friends Homes, a residence for retired per- 
sons. It was in 1956 that the meeting received a letter from 
Herschel Folger, representing a Yearly Meeting committee ap- 
pointed for that purpose, soliciting interest in establishing a 
Friends Home for the Aged. He mentioned the possible use of 
a vacant school building at Providence for that purpose. The 
meeting appointed a committee, as Friends are wont to do in 
such cases, to discuss the matter further with Herschel Folger. 3 
Other meetings and concerned individuals took up the matter 

3 Ibid., September 16, 1956. 



and it appeared that the time was right for such a project. The 
location was in question for some time. An early map of Quaker 
Lake shows homes for the aged at that place. However, thinking 
gradually turned toward the ancient center of Quaker life in 
North Carolina at New Garden-Guilford College. 

As plans began to mature, William Coble, representing the 
newly organized Friends Homes, Inc., appealed to the meeting 
for moral and financial support, and announced an every mem- 
ber canvas to raise $90,000 per year for three years. Friends 
responded as a body and as individuals. 4 In 1959, New Garden 
donated two acres of land to Friends Homes to piece out the 
adjacent tract which had been acquired. In due course, and 
after several changes in plans, the first unit was built only a 
short distance from the meeting house on New Garden Road, in 
1968. 5 

The first residents of the new facility were Bertha White, and 
Stephen and Stella Dow. They were also the first residents of 
Friends Homes to join New Garden Meeting, which they did in 
1969. 6 They were to be followed by many others. The dramatic 
growth of Friends Homes, located in walking distance of New 
Garden Meeting, was to have a profound effect upon the latter. 
Bertha White was a retired Friends minister, and immediately 
became active in the meeting. She was a faithful Sunday School 
teacher and in meetings for worship often shared the experi- 
ences and wisdom which had come from her long years of 
service. Stephen and Stella Dow were also very active Friends, 
having been members of First Friends in Greensboro for many 
years. Their political and social activism belied their advanced 
years and served as a stimulus to young and mature Friends 
alike. Friends Homes filled up, expanded, and then filled up 
again and again. The presence of this extraordinary commu- 
nity, numbering 265 souls by 1982, fell like a benediction on 
New Garden Meeting. 

Another development of these decades was the establishment 
of the New Garden Friends School. A group of parents asso- 
ciated with New Garden and Friendship Meetings began ex- 

4 Ibid., April 22, 1959. 

5 See e.g., Founders Day Program, May 24, 1979 

6 NGMMM, February 26, 1969. 



ploring the possibilities of establishing a Friends School as an 
alternate to the public schools for those who were concerned to 
expose their children to another set of values. This concern 
came to the monthly meeting in March, 1971, and the meeting 
appointed Ann Talbert and Donna Smith to meet with the 
headmaster of the Carolina Friends School at Chapel Hill to 
discuss opening a branch of that school in the New Garden 
community. 7 In April, a formal request to use the New Garden 
Meeting House for such a school was received, but eventually 
another site was chosen. 8 In March, 1972, the meeting received 
an inquiry if there would be objection to using the name "New 
Garden" for the new school. No objection was minuted, but the 
meeting did not feel clear to act as a sponsor for the school. 9 
Thus, a second New Garden Friends School came into being, 
this time with only a tenuous connection with New Garden 
Meeting. Its subsequent history is a story apart, but frequently 
the two institutions have crossed paths. 

7 Ibid., March 23, 197 1 . 

8 Ibid., March 23, 1971. 

9 Ibid., March 1, 1972. 


The Nineteen Seventies 

Peace activism continued in the meeting during the ig7o's, 
although the final withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam in 
1973, did, of course, bring a change. Early in that year, the 
Rockingham Preparative Meeting sent a letter to President 
Nixon thanking him for the signing of the peace agreement in 
Paris. Attention now turned toward the questions of the threat 
of nuclear war and the crushing burden of the armaments race. 
A peace center in Fayetteville known as Quaker House became 
a forcus of interest for a number of New Garden Friends. This 
center specialized in draft counseling and in services to military 
personnel at Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune. The meeting 
appointed a representative to attend the board meetings, and 
for a time included an item in the budget for the work, but the 
meeting was not united in the matter. Individual Friends were 
encouraged to contribute and assist as they might feel led. 1 

An opportunity for local community service came in 1969 
when a proposal came from the United Day Care Services of 
Greensboro that a Day Care Center for pre-school children of 
working mothers be established at New Garden Meeting. 2 The 
facilities of the new building were well suited to this purpose, 
and a contract was duly signed. Seven other local churches and 
one civic club agreed to cooperate on the project, and New 
Garden budgeted $1,248 to sponsor eight children during the 
first year. 3 Financial assistance continued. The playground was 

1 NGMMM, February 4, 1970. 

2 Ibid., February 26, 1969. 

3 Ibid., May 28, 1969. 

1 08 


expanded with the help of United Services. At its peak in 1976, 
forty-six children were enrolled and there was a staff of ten. 4 
The meeting made its facilities available for this useful program 
for eight years, when changed circumstances brought about its 
closing in late 1977. 5 

At no time was the multi-purpose meeting house left empty. 
In 1974, David Bills, then pastoral minister, reported that in 
addition to the Day Care Center, the building was being used by 
the Inner Light Consciousness Group, Young Life, the Boy 
Scouts, college students (for dancing classes on Tuesdays), and 
the Homemakers. 6 These were regularly scheduled groups, 
always swelled by ad hoc groups, and of course the committees 
and regular meetings of the meeting itself. It was proving to be 
a very useful building. 

Other community services included a quickened awareness of 
prisoners, prompted in part by the work of the Rockingham 
Preparative Meeting. 7 The Social Concerns Committee aided 
families of prisoners, and inmates of the nearby minimum 
security facility were invited to discuss prison matters with 
members. Both state and local officials came to help New Gar- 
den Friends understand the problems of persons having diffi- 
culty conforming to the rules of society. Along with this went 
continuing activity against the death penalty. 

Also in the area of social concerns, Friends' attention was 
directed to the hazards of atomic waste from nuclear power 
plants, the plight of migrant workers in North Carolina, and 
the massive pressure to receive refugees in this country. Not 
since the i96o's, when the meeting sponsored a Cuban family 
and a young Yugoslavian, had New Garden sponsored refu- 
gees. In 1980, arrangements were made to sponsor a Cambo- 
dian family with four children. This turned out to arouse much 
interest among Friends and sufficient funds were contributed 
to establish the family in Greensboro. In this way, the meeting 
was able to contribute in a small way to the healing of the 

4 Ibid., February 4, 1976. 

5 Ibid., January 4, 1978. Report of Janet Hilty. 

6 Ibid., October 2, 1974. 

7 Ibid., December 22, 1970. 



wounds of the long Vietnam-Cambodian War. 8 

Seminars for Young Friends in Washington and New York 
continued to be popular. They were supported in part by the 
budget, and in part by income from a generous gift from the 
Charles Coble Fund which was designated for that purpose. 9 

The United Society of Friends Women is certainly one of the 
most active and durable groups in New Garden Meeting. It was 
organized as the Women's Foreign Missionary Society in 1886, 
as an expression of the live interest in missions at that time. The 
first president was Mary M. Petty, a graduate of Wellesley 
College, and soon to become a member of the first faculty of 
that newly-incorporated first class college: Guilford College. 
She was followed by a distinguished list of strong leaders. In 
1936, the group celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, and at that 
time there were 153 members. 10 The president at that time was 
Eleanor L. Fox (later Pearson). This group has continued as an 
active adjunct to the meeting, supporting missionary projects, 
engaging in fund-raising activities, and pursuing diverse inter- 
ests in humanitarian and international fields. In 1980, there 
were five circles, with an active membership of ninety-eight. 

Another durable organization at New Garden is the Brother- 
hood Class, which now meets in a room especially designed for 
its use. There had been a Men's Class originally organized and 
taught by John W. Woody, but by 1943 interest had waned. In 
that year, Dan Beittel, Sam Talbert and Algie Newlin set about 
to organize a non-denominational class which would draw in 
some of the large number of men in the community who were 
not attending any Sunday School. They made a list of 180 men 
whom they invited to a dinner and a lecture by Tom Sykes, the 
teacher of a Men's Class at High Point Friends. About forty men 
responded and the Brotherhood Class was organized. Initially, 
most of them were not Friends. Samuel Haworth, a professor of 
religion at Guilford College, became its first regular teacher and 
continued until prevented by illness and old age. Subsequent 

8 Ibid., April 3, 1980. 

9 Ibid., April 1, 1979. The meeting received additional generous gifts from 
Charles Coble. 

10 From a printed program of the event. 

New Garden Friends, July 18, 1982 



teachers were E. Daryl Kent, Herschel Folger and Russell 

This class met first in a corner of the meeting room, and then 
in a large room in the old Music Building at Guilford College. It 
grew to a membership of seventy-five during the 1950's, and 
has always accepted men of all ages. This group enjoys old- 
fashioned gospel singing, and makes substantial contributions 
to worthwhile causes. In the ig8o's it continued as a vital part of 
meeting life. 11 

A parallel group for women is the Friendly Class, which can 
be traced to the old Philathea Class which was organized in 
1913. Philathea was a non-denominational organization for 
girls which was organized on a state level, and the New Garden 
group was active in its work. The leader was the much beloved 
Mary E. M. Davis (Mrs. Franklin), and the class later established 
a $1000 endowment fund at Guilford College in her memory. 
Income from it was designated for scholarships for deserving 
local girls, and it is still offered by the college to graduates of 
(Western) Guilford High School. The $1000 has now grown to 

$2 4 79-' 2 

The Philathea Class lasted only until about 1920, and the girls 
in that class passed from one class to another as their ages and 
the times changed. At least one member of the class today was 
in the original Philathea Class. Recent teachers have been Ber- 
tha White, Beatrice Folger and Edith Shepherd. 13 

During the 1970's, New Garden Friends again turned their 
minds toward building. The omission of the worship room ori- 
ginally planned was a source of much disappointment to many 
members. The conversion of the large Fellowship Hall into a 
low-ceilinged worship room with folding chairs seemed inade- 
quate, and in sharp contrast to the Victorian elegance of the old 
meeting house. In 1970, David Edgerton was appointed chair- 
man of a study commission to bring in plans for a suitable new 
worship room. After nine months of hard labor, the committee 

11 Algie I. Newlin has assisted in this resume. 

12 Information from Guilford College Development Office. 

13 Material on the Philathea Class provided by Harriet Hood and Clara 



The Brotherhood Class was organized in 1943. Photo by David Nicholson, 

Philathea and Baraca Classes in 191 2 at 1884 meetinghouse. 


presented architects plans for a structure costing $150,000, 
including furnishings. Friends were surprised at the heavy cost, 
which far exceeded the cost of the structure originally erected 
in 1961. The proposal lost. 14 In 1977, a committee headed by 
Henry Semmler proposed a project to cost $1 15,000. This also 
lost. 15 

There were reasons other than cost for the failure of these 
proposals. Many of the new generation of Friends felt it would 
be inappropriate to spend so much money on brick and mortar 
at a time of so much agony in the world. Besides, many were 
very pleased by the informal atmosphere of the fellowship hall- 
meeting room. It promoted intimacy and easy sharing in wor- 
ship. The proposal returned several times in the 1970's, discus- 
sions were held and polls taken, but at no time, given Friends 
use of the consensus method, was it possible to reach agreement 
that a new worship room should be built. 

During the decade, a few Friends in Rockingham County 
began worshiping together and then requested the establish- 
ment of the Rockingham Preparative Meeting. This was ap- 
proved by New Garden Monthly Meeting in August, 1970. The 
birth of this preparative meeting brought new life to the parent 
body as Rockingham Friends communicated their enthusiasm 
to the monthly meeting sessions, and New Garden Friends 
occasionally joined Rockingham Friends in their meetings. 

The sheer magnitude of the activities of the meeting had long 
since precluded total reliance on "volunteers," however pleasing 
it might be to argue its virtues. A meeting secretary had been 
employed since 1965, when Mrs. Duncan Wright was employed 
for this service. 16 It became the custom to release someone for 
Christian Education and Youth Work. By 1971 there was a 
considerable staff on duty: Jack Kirk, Pastoral Minister; Her- 
schel Folger, Assistant Minister for Visitation; Helen Redding, 
Director of Christian Education; Barbara Jackson, Director of 
Music; Maxine Blackwood, Meeting Secretary; Ellis Penn, Cus- 
todian. 17 In addition, it had been the custom for some years to 

14 NGMMM, May 6, 1970. 

15 Ibid., May 5, 1976. 

16 Ibid., September 22, 1965. 

17 Ibid., July, 197 1 . 



employ one or two college students to be in charge of Young 
Friends activities. 

Quaker Lake, organized as a Yearly Meeting Conference 
Center in 1949, came to be a very important part of the New 
Garden fellowship. In 1971, 108 members took part in a New 
Garden Family Camp there. 18 These weekend mini-conferences 
had become an annual event which continued through the 
decade. The growing center attracted many New Garden child- 
dren and Youth. It became traditional that New Garden Young 
Friends outnumbered all others as counselors during the active 
summer season. 

The growing interest in environmental matters had its impact 
on New Garden Meeting. When the ancient cemetery was 
expanded into the woods to the west, concern was minuted for 
the preservation of the trees. Friends were urged to practice 
"environmental stewardship." 19 No longer did New Garden sell 
timber to raise funds, as they had often done in the early days! 
At the urging of Ruth Maynard, many Friends attended an 
Environmental Rally in the Greensboro Coliseum to hear John 
Glenn, the astronaut-turned-senator, encourage careful stew- 
ardship of the resources of the Planet Earth. 20 

History took on special meaning in the 1970's. Russell Bran- 
son and Clara Farlow cooperated with the Yearly Meeting Ter- 
centenary Committee in preparing a summary of the history of 
New Garden Meeting, in 1971. 21 

Friends continued an ancient custom by visiting in the homes 
of members. The presence of a pastoral minister did not release 
other Friends from this duty, even though the pastors always 
engaged in active visitation. In April of 1972, the Friendly 
Fellowship Committee reported that their members had made 
143 home visits, adding with Quaker candor that 24 of these 
were duplications. Even so, they had visited in 119 homes. 22 

Friends from abroad continued to visit New Garden. Among 
these was George Boobyer, a Quaker Biblical scholar from 

18 Ibid., August 29, 1974. 

19 Ibid., September 1, 1971. 

20 Ibid., October 6, 1971. 

21 Ibid., November 3, 1971. MSS. in Friends Historical Collection. 

22 Ibid., May 4, 1972. 


England. 23 Several Friends from the large Friends Mission in 
Kenya attended Guilford College and became affiliate members 
of the meeting. 24 Kathy Cannady, a Young Friend from New 
Garden, reported on her participation in the Quaker Youth 
Pilgrimage to England in 1975, 25 and Dick Lee followed in 
1979. 26 Among other things, they visited the historic Quaker 
sites in England. 

During this decade, there was concern expressed in the 
meeting about certain tendencies in the Yearly Meeting. Itself at 
one time a center of evangelical activity, New Garden now 
found itself out of unity with the great evangelical wave sweep- 
ing over the country, and strongly reflected in the North Caro- 
lina Yearly Meeting. Its own concerns centered more on streng- 
thening the social testimonies of Friends, and less on individual 
piety. It also remained loyal to Guilford College at a time when 
many meetings were becoming disillusioned. Concern was ex- 
pressed that Friends' methods of deliberation had been neg- 
lected at the Yearly Meeting sessions, inhibiting free expression, 
and preventing the emergence of the true sense of the meeting. 
The feeling was also expressed that in a society where all are 
equal, too much power had been lodged in the hands of a group 
of pastoral ministers. 27 As the decade closed, many New Garden 
Friends continued to be anxious about these matters. 

New Garden Friends continued to travel in the service of 
Truth during the decade. The year 1976, for example, saw 
travel minutes issued for Mexico, Switzerland, Spain, West Ger- 
many, East Germany and France. When Floyd and Lucretia 
Moore traveled to Japan in the course of their attendance at a 
meeting of the Friends World Committee in Australia in 1977, 
they returned with an endorsement of their minute by a woman 
from Hiroshima. In it, she expressed her earnest hope for 
peace, an appeal which much moved New Garden Friends. It 
was made even more meaningful because it had been translated 

23 Ibid., September 6, 1972. 

24 Ibid., December 6, 1972. Richard Shimaka welcomed. 

25 Ibid., November 7, 1973. 

26 Newsletter, August 7, 1980. Pat Sams, and Jean and David Bills are listed as 
others who have participated in the Pilgrimage to England. 

27 NGMMM, April 6, 1977. 



by Joyce- Yoshiko Parkhurst, a member of New Garden Meeting 
and herself a native of Japan. 28 

An especially sensitive Report on the Spiritual Condition of 
the Meeting read in the June, 1976, monthly meeting reflected 
well the life of New Garden at that time. It addressed the work 
of Young Friends at Quaker Lake, commended the quality of 
vocal ministry in the meetings for worship, spoke in apprecia- 
tion of the African students then joining in worship, expressed 
concern that David Bills, the pastoral minister, not be over- 
whelmed with the added responsibility of ministry to Friends 
Homes at a time when the Day Care Center required consider- 
able attention, referred once more to the matter of the new 
worship room, observed the passing of a number of dear 
friends, and expressed concern for the broken homes within 
the fellowship, calling for loving support. 

Social concerns looming high in the 1970's were the issue of 
capital punishment, and a continuing pursuit of peaceful solu- 
tions to international disputes. Several concerned Friends were 
very active in the work of the Friends Committee on National 
Legislation. Larry Newlin and Carl Semmler each served on the 
staff in Washington, following their graduation from college. 
The Social Concerns Committee led Friends into a new aware- 
ness of the Native Americans living in Greensboro. A new 
center for the more than 3,000 persons of this community 
began to minister to their peculiar needs. 29 

Serving the meeting as pastoral leader from 1972 was David 
Bills, another Texan with credentials from Friends University 
and Asbury Theological Seminary. Among his many initiatives 
enriching the life of the meeting was the formation of a Seekers 
Group for the many new attenders who were eager to know 
more about Friends before they chose a church home. Another 
significant form of fellowship began at New Garden in 1972 
when Friends began to sit down together at a Thanksgiving 
Feast on the Sunday nearest that national holiday. On that day 
each year, worship was combined with the breaking of bread in 

Ibid., September 7, 1977. 

Ibid., October 10, 1978; April 4, 1979. 



an informal observance of the sacrament of communion. 30 
These were years of special concern for young people, while at 
the same time developing programs for the elderly. David Bills' 
messages in meeting stressed the development of inner spiritual 
strength to meet the puzzling dilemmas and challenging oppor- 
tunities of the time. 

A drastic reduction in the birth rate reduced enrollment in 
the Sunday School — which had now became a First-Day School 
again — to the lowest point in the century. By the end of the 
decade, it was beginning to grow slowly again. Following Helen 
Redding as Director of Christian Education was Edith Shep- 
herd, a young woman reared in a Friends meeting in Cuba, and 
a recent graduate of Guilford College. 31 Next came Ann David- 
son, a Californian who came to New Garden by way of service 
with the Friends United Meeting in Richmond, Indiana. 32 In 
1979, Susan Baker, a young mother herself with a lively con- 
cern for the children of the meeting, assumed the responsibility 
of developing a program for a growing number of children. 33 

A touching moment occurred in the meeting in May of 1979 
with the visit of Aldean Pitts and his family. The former pastor 
and his wife and daughter still bore the pain of the recent death 
of son Mark in a tragic accident, and hanging over the en- 
counter with New Garden as a cloud was the knowledge that 
Aldean himself was mortally ill. Outwardly in good health, he 
savored the joy of reunion with old friends. Yet, before the year 
passed, word came that Aldean had died of cancer. 34 

The year 1979 was filled with good news and bad, as death 
snatched some who seemed too young, and nuclear war always 
seemed to hover as a threat. The President ordered registration 
for the draft, and at New Garden concerned persons of several 
city churches formed the Interfaith Center for Peace and Jus- 
tice. 35 Members of the meeting volunteered as counselors to 
youths required to register. In downtown Greensboro, five 

30 Newsletter, November, 1972. 

31 NGMMM, August 15, 1970. 

32 Ibid., September 7, 1977. 

33 Ibid., July 4, 1979. 

34 Ibid., May 27, 1979; March 5, 1980. Death came February 15, 1980. 

35 Ibid., October 3, 1979. 



members of the Communist Workers Party were gunned down 
by self-styled Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazis. 36 New Garden 
Meeting House became the staging ground for community 
expression of concern. 

And yet, in 1979 absentee member Bevan Farlow, of New 
Orleans, offered to purchase a new electronic organ for the 
meeting. Since the old one was old and outmoded, a committee 
was formed to help select a suitable instrument, and in due course 
a fine new organ was installed. 37 

Thus, with joy and sorrow, point and counterpoint, the decade 
ended. Names and faces had changed, forms had altered, new 
events had occurred, and yet there was a plot of ground and a 
web of fellowship that continued unbroken. For 226 years, Friends 
had been meeting for worship and going forth in the service of 
Truth. In the beginning, also, there had been joy in establishing 
new homes in the wilderness, in felling trees and struggling to 
wrest a livelihood from the untamed environment. Dutifully, they 
had re-established their meeting for worship and organized a 
monthly meeting, giving it a name which honored their own 
ancestors. Men and women were married and given in marriage, 
bore and reared children, and in the end carved a civilization out 
of a primeval forest. 

And they had also faced tragedy and death. War swirled around 
them and they nursed the wounded and buried the dead. Joy 
and sorrow were their ever-present companions. When Abraham 
Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg and questioned whether a republic 
"so conceived and so dedicated (could) long endure," the nation 
was only 87 years old. It has now passed its 225th birthday. New 
Garden is a little older than that, and its vigor today bodes well 
for the future. 

Greensboro Daily News, November 5, 1979. 
NGMMM, October 21, 1979. 


The Transition to a 
New Millennium 

Eighteen years have passed since New Garden Friends Meeting, 
The Christian People Called Quakers was published. In this revised 
edition we examine the intervening years to identify the con- 
tinuing thread which joins the two periods, and seek to identify 
the significant innovations since 1983. Have we grown in num- 
bers, do we make a significant witness to Truth in our commu- 
nity, and do we provide a congenial spiritual family for those 
associated with the meeting? 

A cursory reading of the original edition reveals that we con- 
tinue to be very much the same kind of fellowship described in 
that publication, although externally there have been obvious 
changes. After the years of seeking unity on the matter of build- 
ing the new worship room projected in the plans for the 1961 
building, that time finally came in 1983. Essentially, the room 
built was the result of much deliberation over the period of 23 
years after the completion of the first phase of the plant. Some 
sought a sanctuary on the model of thousands of Protestant 
churches common in all American communities. Indeed, most 
of the newer Friends meeting houses in North Carolina followed 
such a design. Others were strongly led in the direction of a style 
common in earlier periods which promoted corporate worship 
rather than focusing on the pastoral minister. 

In the end, the building committee called on Mather 
Lippincott, a Philadelphia architect familiar with traditional 
Quaker architecture, but flexible enough to honor the clear New 
Garden commitment to the role of a pastoral minister. The re- 



The 1988 meeting room (above) is joined by a connector to the 1961 meeting 
house (at right). 

suit was a medium-sized room, beautiful in its simplicity, one on 
which members united. More than a decade later, it has won a 
growing affection which contributes much to the warmth of the 
fellowship and has been an attraction for newcomers. It has been 
used for meetings of the Yearly Meeting on Ministry and Coun- 
sel, Junior Yearly Meeting, and in 1998 it was used for the busi- 
ness sessions of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting. The New 
Garden Friends School uses it for meeting for worship, and Guil- 
ford College uses it on certain occasions. 

During this period, the concept of the semi-programmed 
meeting for worship has assumed a formal structure. Short peri- 
ods of open worship survived the change to the pastoral system 
at New Garden and there were usually a few Friends who spoke 
out of the silence, some contributing much to the life of the 
meeting. Under the leadership of David Bills and the Meeting 
on Ministry and Counsel, an open period of 20-30 minutes now 
follows the message of the pastoral minister (or other message- 
bearer). This longer period has led a larger number of persons 



David Bills became pastoral 
minister in 1972. 

to share in the spoken ministry and has contributed much to the 
quality of corporate spiritual life. David Bills' continuing minis- 
try over 29 years is highly acceptable and has been duly noted by 
the meeting. 

The biweekly New Garden Friend, the weekly bulletin, and the 
monthly meeting minutes attest to the vigorous life of the meet- 
ing, and keep members and attenders informed. Meetings for 
worship at nine and eleven each Sunday morning are the heart 
of the New Garden experience. While adults are in silent wor- 
ship, those children who wish may attend an alternate service. 
The First-Day School (formerly known as the Sunday School) 
provides a learning experience for the children, and their num- 
ber is greater than at any time in recent memory. Adults, too, 
may take part in a program of spiritual growth which includes 
formal classes for men and women, an adult forum, and a heal- 
ing prayer group. 

For those who wish to learn more about Friends, there is a 
Seekers Group which interprets Friends faith and practice for 
those who are in search of a spiritual home. No pressure is ap- 
plied, but a goodly number do choose to join Friends as a result. 
Others come from among Young Friends, Guilford College, New 
Garden Friends School, and from other contacts. 

New Garden has reached a size where it is not possible to be- 
come intimately acquainted with all the members-attenders, so 
a variety of ways have been devised to promote closer fellow- 
ship. Each Sunday morning a coffee hour in the fellowship hall 
precedes the eleven o'clock worship service. On a somewhat spo- 



radic schedule, weeknight meals are served and a carry-in lunch 
precedes each monthly meeting. For a number of years, groups 
known as Friendly Eights have met in private homes to promote 
closer personal relationships. Further, the Meeting on Ministry 
and Counsel divides the membership of the meeting into geo- 
graphical units for which volunteers take a friendly responsibil- 
ity. They respond to illnesses and tragedies which may require 
visitation and aid. The size of New Garden has received consid- 
erable attention, Friends questioning whether a division would 
be desirable, or whether the staff should be increased. 

From its inception, Friends from New Garden have traveled 
in the ministry, William Hunt, the father of Nathan Hunt, being 
one of the most active in that service in the early period. To a 
degree, this custom has continued, but New Garden's principal 
outreach today is in a variety of social services. In recent years 
the meeting has sponsored refugees from Cuba, Cambodia, and 
Africa. A major effort has been to aid a group of families in the 
Warnersville community in Greensboro, and Friends have been 
active in the services of the Urban Ministry, Habitat for Human- 
ity, Prison Outreach, the Friends Committee on National Legis- 
lation, the American Friends Service Committee, New Garden 
Friends School, Guilford College, Quaker House in Fayetteville, 
the Friends Disaster Service, the Choctaw Indians in Alabama, 
and others. New Garden Woman's Society continues to raise 
more than $4,000 annually for missions and outreach, sponsored 
by United Society of Friends Women. The 1 999 budget of New 
Garden Meeting includes $ 1 8,650 for thirteen benevolences, plus 
$23,772 for seven affiliations. The total budget of the meeting 
that year was $275,000. 

Over much of the twentieth century, New Garden Friends have 
not been active in the ecumenical movement. However, recently, 
they have entered into warm fellowship with the considerable 
number of denominations represented in the community for the 
annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Services. 

For fifteen years, New Garden has offered an occasional walk- 
ing tour of the meeting grounds and cemetery. It focuses on the 
site of the 1 791 meeting house and includes the adjacent site of 
the Little Brick Schoolhouse where the Coffins once taught slaves 



The Revolutionary Oak marker in the Nexv Garden cemetery reads: "This tree 
stood in the center of New Garden Burying Ground. Here the first skirmish of 
the Battle of Guilford Court House occurred, 7/). Month ij8i. Nearby arethe 
cornerstones of the original Friends Meeting House, used us a hospital during 
tiw battle. The men who died were laid to rest under this oak. " 

to read. The common grave of British and American soldiers 
from the Battle of Guilford Courthouse illustrates the Quaker 
view that no one is an enemy. The tour includes the site of the 
Revolutionary Oak, which was dynamited bv someone opposed 
to integration while Eleanor Roosevelt addressed an audience 
of mixed races in the meeting house. The New Garden Stone on 
the Guilford College campus, marking the northeast corner of 
the original plot of land purchased bv Friends in 1 757. concludes 
the tour. 

There has been a surge of interest in the roots of Quakerism 
in England. David Bills, pastoral minister since 1972, has led sev- 
eral Quaker Pilgrimages to historical sites in England, and New 
Garden Friends have been pleased to join in this rekindling* of 
the light that shone in the Fox country over three-hundred years 
ago. Never before have there been so manv persons from New 
Garden Meeting who have shared this experience. It has brought 
a new perspective. Not only have Friends traveled to England, 
but Young Friends have continued to attend seminars in Wash- 



ington and New York. Others have traveled the hemisphere in 
service and fellowship under programs of the Friends World Com- 
mittee and other agencies. 

The demography of greater Greensboro has changed dramati- 
cally in the past thirty-five years. Both Guilford College and New 
Garden Meeting stand well within the limits of Greensboro to- 
day. From a small "town and gown" community, with New Gar- 
den Meeting located on the campus where college faculty pro- 
vided the core leadership and the membership included a num- 
ber of Quaker dairy farmers, the meeting has evolved into one 
in which Guilford College is only one of several forces at work. 

Members today possess a wide variety of gifts. There are so- 
cial workers, attorneys, health professionals, music teachers, of- 
fice workers, technicians, business persons, fund-raisers, writers, 
poets, teachers, airline pilots, mathematicians, landscapers, in- 
surance agents, printers, psychologists, psychiatrists, school ad- 
ministrators, chemists, accountants, librarians, a number in com- 
puter-related work, bankers-financiers, motivational experts, 
farmers, retirement home administrators and a number of oth- 
ers in that field, commercial artists, nutritionists, book publish- 
ers, editors, doctors, nurses and hospital chaplains. In addition 
there is a large number of retirees. Obviously, even this is not a 
complete list. 

Such an overview underlines the profound change that has 
occurred, not only at New Garden, but all over America. Farm- 
ers today constitute only a tiny proportion of the population. 
Since the annexation of Guilford College in 1962, the city has 
continued to grow toward the northwest. Large housing com- 
munities have provided expensive homes that have given the area 
something in the nature of an enclave of the well-to-do. At the 
same time, however, large apartment and condominium com- 
plexes have provided housing for thousands beyond New Gar- 
den, calling for more and more shopping centers and demand- 
ing more schools. 

Some of the people in this new housing turn up in the Seek- 
ers Group and account for much of the steady growth in the 
members-attenders. In this group are to be found some with 
Quaker family connections, and usually some graduates of Guil- 


Speaking out of the silence at meeting for worship. 

ford College. Yet it must be said that there has been a sharp drop 
in the number of "birthright" Friends. They become Friends by 
convincement, and this means eagerness for new solutions to 
old problems, and less defense of tradition for the sake of tradi- 
tion. Of course, this can bring conflict, but New Garden moves 
forward with a minimum of serious controversy. 

The question of sexual orientation has brought controversy 
to North Carolina Yearly Meeting. New Garden Friends have 
avoided a doctrinaire position on this matter, and have generally 
regarded it as a personal one. The Piedmont Friends for Gay 
and Lesbian Concerns has met in the meeting house for several 
years. New Garden has long embraced persons of differing views 
in a bond of unbroken fellowship, and this tradition continues. 
The fellowship is warm and nourishes a continuing openness to 
the workings of the Spirit. 

In our time, we are experiencing a growing world economy, 
and along with it comes a blending of world cultures. The Guil- 
ford College student body and the evolving curriculum reflect 
this fact, as does the increase in the cosmopolitan nature of the 
local population. When Friends join in the Interfaith Service in 
Dana Auditorium in which a wide variety of faiths join in wor- 
ship and celebration of their common search, no one refers to 
the non-Christians as "heathens," but rather, as friends whom 
we value. 



This new-found fellowship of world religions symbolizes a 
trend within the Christian community and is embraced warmly 
by most New Garden Friends. However, there are other Friends 
in North Carolina who, in good conscience, hold to the view 
that only Christianity holds the key to spiritual truth. The Bible 
is seen as the sole source of salvation and must be accepted "lit- 
erally." Others argue, as George Fox did, that Scripture quick- 
ens the Spirit only as it speaks to one's condition. The conflict 
in these views has never been resolved in the Quaker commu- 
nity. The present theological controversy stems back to the Ho- 
liness Movement and the Fundamentalist-Modernist tensions of 
a century ago. Damon Hickey's book, Sojourners No More (North 
Carolina Friends Historical Society-North Carolina Yearly Meet- 
ing, 1997) provides an instructive and sympathetic summary of 
that period. 

In the year 2004, it will be 250 years since a group of Friends 
at this place received recognition as a monthly meeting from 
the North Carolina Yearly Meeting, they being able, it was said, 
to hold meetings in good order and in the service of Truth. There 
is talk of convoking a gathering on the anniversary date where 
Friends can give thanks for the long period of grace which has 
permitted successive generations to discern the will of God and 
go forth in the service of Truth. 


Appendix I 

New Garden Monthly Meeting Clerks 
of the Twentieth Century 




A.T. Millis 



J. Franklin Davis 




L. Lyndon Hobbs* : 



Francis H. Lindley 

1Q^2 - 


Ida E. Millis 

1 zJO 1 

Evelyn Haworth 

- 1 042 

Algie I. Newlin* 

- 1Q4Q 

T. Gurnev Gilbert 

lQFiO - 

Alffie I. Newlin* 

1QF»6 • 

David Stafford 

i qf;8 ■ 

■ iq6^ 

E. Daryl Kent* 


Tohn M. Pipkin 

Harvey A. Ljung 

iq66 - 


Clyde Branson 


■ 1 072 

zJ 1 * 

Martha Meredith 



Hiram H. Hilty 



Dorothy Mason 



E. Daryl Kent* 



James Clotfelter 



David O. Stanfield 



Gary Dent 


•199 6 

Hank Semmler 

i99 6 - 


Ron Lean 



Mary Louise Smith 

* Served more than once. 
** L. Lyndon Hobbs was first appointed clerk of New Garden Meeting 
in 1881. It was a joint appointment with Mary Mendenhall Hobbs. 

Appendix II 

Pastoral Ministers at New Garden 


■ 1 02 1 

\ FHo'ar Williams 

1Q22 - 

.7 ^ ^ 

Joseph Peele 

1 QQ 2 - 

No stated pastor. Samuel Haworth 

agrees to sit at head of meeting. 


x 93 8 

Herbert Huffman, Sr. 


A 949 

Russell Branson 

*95 8 

Charles Thomas 



Aldean Pitts 


O. Herschel Folger, Interim Pastor 

("Parttime Coordinator") 


197 1 

Jack Kirk 


David Bills 


Books and Pamphlets 

Arnett, Ethel, The Saura and Keyaivee in the land that became Guil- 
ford, Randolph and Rockingham, Greensboro, N.C., 1975. 

Cadbury, Henry J., The Church in the Wilderness, North Carolina 
Quakerism as seen by visitors, N.C. Friends Historical Society, 
1948. (Historical lecture at N.C. Yearly Meeting of Friends.) 

Journal of William Hunt 's visit to Europe 1JJ1-1JJ2, together with 
William Hunt, A Memoir, Quaker Collection, Guilford College, 


Cartland, Fernando, Southern Heroes, Cambridge, 1895. 
Caruthers, Eli, A Sketch of the life and character of the Rev. David 

Caldwell, Greensboro, N.C, 1842. 
Coffin, Levi, Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the reputed president of 

the Underground Railroad, Cincinnati, 1876. 
Cooper, Sarah Moore, 200th anniversary sketch (ij 15-1915) of 

New Garden Friends Meeting, Chester County, Pa. 
Faith and Practice of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends, 

North Carolina Yearly Meeting, 1970. 
Gilbert, Dorothy, Guilford: A Quaker College, Guilford College, 


Haworth, Cecil, A Valiant People, Deep River Quarterly Meeting of 

Friends, a history, North Carolina Yearly Meeting, 1976. 
Hinshaw, Seth B., Walk Cheerfully, Friends 

Hinshaw, Seth B. and Mary Edith (editors), Carolina Quakers, 
1672-1972, North Carolina Yearly Meeting, 1972. 

Hood, Henry G., Jr., The Public Career of John Archdale (1642- 
iyiy), North Carolina Friends Historical Society and The 
Quaker Collection, Guilford College, 1976. 



Hunt, William, An account of public Friends that hath visited North 

Lefler, Hugh T., History of North Carolina, vol. I. 

. North Carolina, the history of a Southern State (Rev. Ed.), 

Chapel Hill, 1963. 

Milner, Clyde A., Quaker Education in the Carolinas, an address 
in observance of the Tercentenary of the Settlement of Friends in 
the Carolinas, i66y 19 65, Guilford College, 1965. 

Moore, J. Floyd, Friends in the Carolinas, Annual Quaker Lecture, 
October 17,1 963, High Point Friends Meeting, High Point, N.C. 

. The New Garden Primer, A Quaker Glossary, Quaker Vil- 
lage Merchants Association, Greensboro, N.C, 1967. 

New Garden Friends Meeting, 1 75 1-1963. Folder featuring pho- 
tos in the new meeting house. 

Third Century Expansion Program, May 1-2 y, 1959, a promotional 
folder for the new (New Garden) meeting house. 

New Garden Friends Church ( established 181 1), a historical pam- 
phlet published by the church, Fountain City, Indiana, 1973. 

Newlin, Algie I., The Battle of New Garden, North Carolina Friends 
Historical Society and North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends, 


Phillips, Catharine, Memoirs 

Weeks, Stephen B., Southern Quakers and Slavery, Baltimore, 1 896. 
Whittier, John G., ed., The Journal of John Woolman, London, 

Anscombe, Francis C, / Have Called You Friends, The Story of 

Quakerism in North Carolina, Boston, 1959. 
Elliott, Erroll T., Friends on the American Frontier, Elgin, 111., 1966. 
Gilbert, Dorothy, "First Friends at New Garden," Bulletin of Friends 

Historical Association, Haverford, Pa., 1945. Also published as 

a pamphlet. 

Minutes, Manuscripts, Documents 

Beal, Gertrude, The Origins of New Garden Friends Meeting: An 
Institutional Study, 1754-1764, 1977. 37 pp. Friends Histori- 
cal Collection, Guilford College. 



Cane Creek Monthly Meeting Minutes 

Coffin, Addison, Early Settlement of Friends in North Carolina, 
Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College. 

Cummings, Charles W. (Bill), Jr., and Mrs. Pattie Newlin, New 
Garden Friends Cemetery Tombstone and Death Records of the 
Old Section, April 1978. Friends Historical Collection, Guilford 

Farlow, Clara B., and B. Russell Branson, New Garden Friends 
Meeting, 1 7 5 1-197 1 , 1971- 12 pp. Friends Historical Collec- 
tion, Guilford College. 

Feagins, Mary B., New Garden Meeting: A Description, 1967, Friends 
Historical Collection, Guilford College. 

Guilford County Record of Deeds, Book New Garden as 

Grantor, Under C. 

Harman, Cornelia K., Th ' Price ' Larnin \ a play. 

Mendenhall, Delphina E., Delphina Mendenhall's Poetry, Friends 
Historical Collection, Guilford College. 

Myrick, Alan P., The New Garden Friends and Slavery, 1800-1835, 
24 pp. 

New Garden Monthly Meeting Minutes, 1 7 54-1982. 
New Garden Monthly Meeting Minutes (Women). 
New Garden Quarterly Meeting Minutes 
North Carolina Yearly Meeting Minutes, 1 7 5 1-1982. 
Rowan County Deed Book 2. 


Africa, Friends serve in, 74, 75 

Allen, William, Jr., 57 

Alternate service, 37 

American Colonization Society, 30 

American Friends Board of Foreign Missions, 74 

American Friends Service Committee, 75, 81, 101, 123 

American Peace Society, 50 

Anglican Church, 2 

Anne the Huntress, 43 

Annexation of Guilford College, 100 

Anscombe, Francis, 48 

Anti-slavery band, 31 

Asheboro Street Meeting (Greensboro Monthly Meeting), 71 

Bailes Mill, 6, 7, 52 

Baird, Esther, Missionary, 74 

Baker, Susan, Director of Christian Education, 118 
Ballinger Family, 54 

Ballinger, Hannah, travels in Truth's service, 15 

Ballinger, Henry, co-purchaser of plot for New Garden, 13 

Baltimore Association, 41 

Battle of Guilford Courthouse, 124 

Battle of New Garden, 22, 23 

Beal Family, 54 

Beals, Thomas, 3; first meeting for worship, 5, 7 
Beeson Family, 54 

Beittel, Dan, an organizer of Brotherhood Class, 109 

Bell, B. Tartt, attends conference in Kenya, 95 

Bell's Muster Ground, 21 

Benbow Family, 54, 63 

Bethel Meeting, 64 

Bill of the Road to Richmond, 33 

Bills, David, pastor, 108, 117, 121, 124 

Binford, Helen: peace booth, 81; co-director CPS Camp, 82 
Binford, Myra, serves in Jamaica, 75 

Binford, Raymond: President Guilford College, 70; directs CPS camp, 70 
Birthright Friends, 126 

Blackburn, Dr. E. B., missionary to Africa, 74 
Blackwood, Maxine, meeting secretary, 114 



Blair, Annie King, 57 

Blair, Franklin S., peace activist, 76 

Blaylock (Blalock), William and Bessie, 53 

Blue Ridge Mission, Va., 58, 63 

Boobyer, George, British scholar, 115 

Boone, Daniel, Quaker Adventurer, 7 

Boy Scouts, 108 

Bradford Meeting, Pa., 8, 10 

Branson, Bryon, 84 

Branson, Clyde, Clerk of New Garden, 120 

Branson, Russell: pastor, 59; teaches Brotherhood, 112; historian, 115; 


Brotherhood Class, 109, 113 

Brown, James, 8, 15 

Buffalo Presbyterian Church, 1, 2 

Bundy, Jesse M., 50, 51 

Butner, Thaddeus, 57 

Burrows, Edward, 82 

Burton, Edna Coble, 72 

Caldwell, Dr. David, educator, 32 
Cambodian Family sponsored, 108 
Camp Creek Meeting, Va., 9 

Cannady, Kathy, Quaker Youth Pilgrimage, England, 116 

Cannady, Thomas, treasurer, 94 

Cane Creek Meeting, 4, 5, 10 

Cannon, Horace, teacher, 44 

Cannon, "Uncle Joe," visits New Garden, 57 

Caroline Meeting (Cedar Creek), Va., 9 

Carter, John, 37 

Carthage Meeting, Indiana, 71 

Cartland, Fernando, author, 37 

Cedar Creek Meeting (Caroline), Va., 9, 27 

Centre Meeting, 7, 12 

Chakravarty, Amiya, visits New Garden, 84 

Charleston Fund, 50 

Cheraw, S.C., 2 

Chester County, Pa., 3; passim 

Chillicothe, Ohio, 4 

China, David Stafford serves in, 75 

Christian Endeavor Society, 57, 58 

Civil Rights Act of 1964, 103 


Civil War, 36 

Civilian Public Service (CPS), 82 
Clark, Bolin, 10, 27 

Clotfelter, James, Clerk of New Garden, 120 
Coble Family, 53 
Coble, Howard, 84 

Coble, Jean, reports building paid, 85 
Coble, Ruth, 58 

Coble, Samuel and Georgiana, 53 
Coble, Walter, 82 

Coble Fund aids Young Friends, 109 
Coffin, Aaron, 28 

Coffin, Addison, 6; relates battle stories, 23, 32 
Coffin, Bethuel, 28 

Coffin, Elijah, mother dresses wounds, 5, 23 
Coffin, Emory D., 34 

Coffin, Levi, President of Underground Railroad, 29 

Coffin, Nathan H., 35 

Coffin, Tristram, 28 

Coffin, Vestal, anti-slavery activist, 29 

Collins, John, painter, 25 

Coltrane, Daniel Webster and Lydia May, 53 

Coltrane, John and Margaret, service in Jamaica, 76 

Coltrane, Julius and Carrie, 53 

Coltrane, Margaret, has gift shop at World Conference, 87 
Coltrane, Shube E., and Flora Gray, 53 
Communist Workers Party, 119 
Concord Meeting, Pa., 9 

Conscientious Objectors at Buck Creek Camp, 82 
Conscription in Civil War, 37; in World War I, 77 
Conversion required, 55 
Copeland, Evelyn, 86 
Cornwallis, General Charles, 22 

Cox, Jonathan, heads New Garden Boarding School, 38 
Cox, William, 21 

Craven, Eli F., honored by chair at Guilford College, 62 

Crownfield, Frederic and Margaret, initiate worship group, 103 

Crutchfield, Frank, 72 

Crutchfield, Henry and Rhodema, 53 

Crutchfield, James, 93 

Cuba, missions in, 74 

Cummings Family, 53 



Davidson, Ann, Director of Christian Education, 118 

Davis, J. Franklin, Clerk of New Garden, 120 

Davis, Mary, organizes Philathea Class, 112 

Day Care Center, 107 

Declaration of Independence, 25 

Deep River Meeting, first meeting, 11 

Deep River political concerns, 21, 22 

Dicks, Peter, 8, 44 

Dicks, Zacharias, 8, 67 

Disarmament Conference supported, 77 

Disownment becomes rare, 57 

Dixon, Alice, serves in Japan, 75 

Doak, Robert and Nell, 54 

Dover Meeting (Upper Reedy Fork), 12 

Dover visited, laid down, 63 

Dow, Stephen and Stella, 105 

Dutchman's Creek, 64 

East Bend Meeting, 62 

East Nottingham Meeting, Pa., 9 

Ecumenism, 58, 123 

Ede, slave woman, 31, 32 

Edgerton, Anna V. (later Williams), service in India, 73, 74 

Edgerton, David, chairs planning committee, 112 

Edgerton, William: service in Germany, 75; Poland, 83 

Edmundson, William, visits N.C. from Ireland, 1672, 4 

Edwards, S. Y., 35 

Emigration weakens Friends, 41 

England, Quaker Pilgrimages, 124 

European relief aided 77 

Evangelical and missionary period, 55, 61 

Evans, Mary, hospitality for World Conference, 96 

Fairfax Meeting Va., 9 
Family Camp, 115 
Farlow, Bevan, gives organ, 119 
Farlow, Clara, 58; historian, 115 
Farlow, David and Saphronia, 54 
Farlow, Edgar and Fannie, 53 
Farlow, John Kemp and Lenta, 54 
Feagins, Carroll, Sr., 82 



Feagins, Carroll, Sr. and Mary, service in India, 75 
Field, Ada, peace advocate, 84 
Field, Ruth, service in Japan, 75 
Fields, John, Regulator, 22 

Fletcher, Thaddeus, Union soldier buried in N.G. cemetery, 40 
Folger, Asa, conducted slaves to freedom, 33 

Folger, 0. Herschel, 104; teaches Brotherhood, 112; assistant minister, 114; 

interim pastor, 121 
Foreign Missionary Board of N.C. Yearly Meeting, 73 
Fountain City, Indiana, 32 

Fox, Eleanor, President of U.S.F.W. at 50th anniversary, 109 

Fox, George, visits N.C, 1672, 4: passim 

Frazier, John Gurney, 58 

Frazier, John Gurney and Gracette, 53 

Frederick County, Va., 9 

Friedans Lutheran Church, 1 

Friendly Class, 112 

Friendly Eights, 123 

Friends Committee on National Legislation, 87, 117, 123 

Friends Disaster Service, 123 

Friends Homes, beginnings, 104, 105 

Friends World Committee, 125 

Friendship Meeting formed, 103 

Furnas, Paul, promotes A.F.S.C., 77 

German settlers, 1, 6 
Germany, Friends serve in, 75 

Gilbert, Dorothy Lloyd, 7; passim. See also Thorne, Dorothy Gilbert 

Gilbert, J. Gurney, Clerk of New Garden Meeting, 120 

Grantham, Walter and Gulielma, 54 

Granville Estates, 2 

Granville, Earl-Lord, 13 

Greene, General Nathanael, 22 

Greensboro Daily News, 68 

Greensboro Monthly Meeting, 65 

Guilford Baptist Church, 68, 101 

Guilford College chartered, 47; passim 

Guilford Courthouse, Battle of, 22 

Guilford Dairy Cooperative, 53 

Guilford Middle School, 52 



Habitat for Humanity, 123 
Haiti, ex-slaves sent to, 24 

Harris, Isaac, Secretary N.C. Yearly Meeting, 89 
Harris, Joseph, conducted slaves to freedom, 33 
Harris, Obadiah, 9, 27 
Harvey, Isaac, protests story, 38 

Haworth, Evelyn, Clerk of New Garden Meeting, 120 

Haworth, Samuel: teaches Brotherhood, 109; at head of meeting, 121 

Hedrick, Benjamin, opposed slavery, 34 

Hendricks, Charles, 82 

Henley Family, 54 

Henrico ("Hannorico") Meeting, Va., 9 

Hertford, N.C. historical marker, 4 

Hickey, Damon, 127 

High Falls Meeting, 58 

High Point, site of Yearly Meeting, 47 

Hilty, Hiram H., Clerk of New Garden, 120; World Conference, 96, 97 

Hilty, Janet and Hiram, service in Cuba, 76 

Hinshaw, Howard T., service in Africa, 75 

Hinshaw, Mary E. Woody, 49 

Hinshaw, Seth B., delegate World Conference, 96 

Hobbs, Grimsley, President of Guilford College, delegate World Confer- 
ence, 96 

Hobbs, L. Lyndon: President of Guilford College, 47; Clerk of New Gar- 
den Meeting, 120; Clerk N.C. Yearly Meeting, 48 
Hobbs, Mary Mendenhall, 29, 40, 54 
Hobbs, Phoebe, 40 
Hodgin Family, 54 
Hodgin, John and Eileen, 54 
Hodgson, John, marriage of, 15 
Holiness Movement, 127 
Hollowell, Alfred and Mary Ann, 53 
Holly Spring Meeting, 62 
Homemakers use meeting house, 108 
Hopewell Meeting, N.C. (Lower Reedy Fork), 12 
Hopewell Meeting, Winchester, Va., 3, 9, 10 
Hoskins, Katharine, historian, 37 
Hotchkiss, Willis, 74 
Hubbard, Jeremiah, teacher, 28 
Huffman, Herbert, Sr., pastor, 58, 81, 121 
Hunt, Joseph, conducted slaves to freedom, 33 
Hunt, Nathan, nursed wounded, 24; passim 
Hunt, William, travels in Truth's service, 7, 28, 60, 123 


Illegitimacy reported, 20 

India, Anna Edgerton (Williams), serves in, 73, 74 
Indians: Saura, Keyawee, Souix, 2; Choctaw, 123 
Indians, investigate claims of, 3 
Inner Light group meets at N.G., 108 

Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice organizes at New Garden, 118 

Interfaith Service, 126 

Integration, 101, 124 

Institute of International Relations, 81 

Jackson, Barbara, Director of Music, 114 
Jamaica, Friends serve in, 75 
Japan, Friends serve in, 75 
Jay, J. Edwin, 69 

Jessup, Ann, in Truth's service, 19, 20 
Jones, James R., minister, 49, 62 
Jones, Thomas, 82 
Johnson, Cyrus, 82 

Johnson, Murray C, Secretary of Yearly Meeting, 89 

Kaimosi, Kenya, Friends serve in, 76 
Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact, 81 

Kent, E. Daryl: teaches Brotherhood, 112; Clerk of New Garden, 120 

Kenya, students affiliate, 116 

Kernersville Meeting, 64 

King, Francis T., benefactor, 41, 45 

Kingwood, NJ., 10 

Kirk, Jack, pastor, 98, 99, 114, 121 

Kirk, Janet, 98 

Knight Family, 53, 54 

Knight Family Tragedy, 83 

Knight, Louetta, 62, 69; serves in Mexico, 119 

KuKluxKlan, 119 

Lake Mohonk Conference on Peace, 76 

Lamb Family, 54 

Laughlin, Seth B., 37 

Lawson, John, on Indian customs, 3 

Lee, Dick, Quaker Youth Pilgrimage, 116 

Lee, Nancy, serves in Mexico, 74 

Lee, Col. Henry "Light Horse Harry," 23 

Liberia, ex-slaves sent to, 28 

Lincoln, A., signs pass for F. King, 41 



Lindley, Francis T., Clerk of New Garden, 120 
Lindley, Daniel Webster and Nancy, 53 
Lippincott, Mather, architect, 120 
Little Brick Schoolhouse, 29, 123 
Little River Quarterly Meeting, 5 

Ljung, Harvey: committee on conscientious objectors, 84; Clerk of New 

Garden, 120 
Lockard, Kidd, 82 
London Yearly Meeting, 61 
London County, Va., 9 
Lost Creek, Tenn., 4, 12 

Lower Reedy Fork Meeting (later Hopewell), N.C., 12 
Loyalty to King George III declared, 22 

McAden, Hugh, Presbyterian missionary, 1 
McAdensville, 64 
McCracken Family, 54 

McFarland, Lewis, 72; Superintendent of Evangelism, 89 

Mackie, Ezra and Anna, 53 

Madison, Dolly (Dolley), 9 

Manumission Society, 27 

Martin, Governor Josiah, receives pledge, 22 

Marv E. M. Davis Endowment, 112 

Mary Hobbs Hall, Guilford College, 66 

Mason, Dorothy, Clerk of New Garden, 120 

Masset, William, 21, 22 

Matamoros, Mexico Meeting, 73 

Maynard, Linda, 76 

Maynard, Melissa, 76 

Maynard, Ruth, environmental concerns, 115 
Maynard, Stuart, Jr. (Rusty), service in Africa, 76 
Meeting for Worship, semi-programmed, 121 

Meeting houses at New Garden: on fallen trees, 11; before 1752, 4; 1754, 4; 

1791, 24, 123; 1872 (Yearly Meeting House), 46; 1884, 50, 51; 1912, 70, 91; 

1961, 91, 92 
Meeting School, 44, 45 
Memorial Hall, meets in, 69 
Mendenhall, Delphina, poem, 40 

Mendenhall, Nereus, visits Secretary of War, 37, 38; New Garden Board- 
ing School, 39 
Meredith, Clement and Lina, 54 
Meredith, David, 96 



Meredith Family, 54 

Meredith, Franklin and Mary Moon, 63 

Meredith, Jesse, 61 

Meredith, Martha, Clerk of New Garden Meeting, 120 

Military service, Young Friends enter in World War II 

Militia, Friends exempted, 21 

Millis, Ida E., Clerk of New Garden, 120 

Millis, A. T., Clerk of New Garden, 120 

Mills, Mary, marriage to John Hodgson first at New Garden, 15 
Mills, George, Regulator, disowned, 22 

Milner, Clyde A., President of Guilford College; attends session in Kenya, 

1961, world tour, 1965, 95; delegate to World Conference, 97 
Milner, Ernestine, visits Friends abroad, 95 
Missionary Conference, 1910, 74 
Missionary Committee of Y.M., 73 
Moore, Abigail, serves in Liberia, Los Angeles, 98 

Moore, J. Floyd: service in Jordan 75; Germany, 83; World Conference, 96; 

Moore, Lucretia and Floyd, service in Jordan, 75; travel minutes, 98 
Moore, Hugh, free slave anecdote, 30 
Muddy Creek, 64 

Muirs Chapel Methodist Church, 57, 68, 101 
Murrow, Edgar, Indian traditions, 3 

Nantucket Friends settle, 5, 8 
Nazis, 119 

Nelson, E. Shepherd, Kernersville, 64 

New Garden Boarding School, 17; passim 

New Garden Friend, newsletter, 122 

New Garden Friends School, 105, 106, 121, 122, 123 

New Garden Cemetery Association, 80 

New Garden Meeting, Indiana, 35 

New Garden Meeting, Ireland, 4 

New Garden Meeting, Pennsylvania, 4, 8 

New Garden Stone, 124 

Newby, Thomas, visits New Garden 1752, 4 

Newlin, Algie L, historian, 22, 54, 86, 97, 109; Clerk of New Garden Meet- 
ing, 120 

Newlin, Eva and Algie, 54, 82; World Conference, 96, 97 
New Salem, 62, 63 
Nicholson, David, 113 
Nolichucky, Tenn., 12 



Northwest Territory slave-free, 16 
Norton, William, Regulator disowned, 22 
Norvell Hall, 93 

Oath, Quakers exempted, 2 
Ohio Yearly Meeting (Damascus), 74 
Organ and piano purchased, 85 
Osborne, Charles, manumissionist, 27 
Outreach, 123 

Parkhurst, Joyce-Yoshiko, 116, 117 

Parsonage, early efforts, 79 

Parsonage of 1950, 85 

Parsons, David and Bonnie, 76 

Pasquotank County, 6, 10 

Pastoral meeting, New Garden becomes, 67 

Payment for services to meeting, 67 

Payne, John B., father of Dolley Payne Madison, 8 

Payton, Catharine (later Phillips), visited New Garden 1753, 13, 14 

Peace Contest, 78 

Peace Institute, 86 

Peace testimony in colonial times, 21 

Peele, Albert, minister, 49, 62; passim 

Peele Family, 54 

Peele, Joseph, pastor, 49, 78, 80, 121 

Peele, Mary A., minister, 49, 62, 72 

Peele, Robert, conducted slaves to freedom, 33 

Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) Wagon Road, 1 

Perisho, Elwood and Inez, 54, 80, 81 

Perquimans Quarterly Meeting, 4 

Petition Confederate Congress for exemption from military service, 36, 37 

Petition House of Burgesses for exemption from military service, 22 

Petty, Mary M., first president U.S.F.W., 109 

Philathea Class, 112, 113 

Phillips, Henry, first Quaker in N.C., 4 

Piedmont Friends for Gay and Lesbian Concerns, 126 

Piney Grove, 62 

Pioneer Families, list of families from Hinshaw-Gilbert at New Garden 1754- 
1775, 7-10 

Pipkin, John, delegate World Conference, 97; Clerk of New Garden, 120 
Pitts, Aldean, pastor, 87, 88, 102, 118, 121 
Plainness in dress and address, 49 


Pomona Meeting, 64 

Prohibition supported, 66 

Pringle, Alonso, M.D., and Mary, 54 

Prison Outreach, 123 

Public school, 1900, 52 

Purdle, Joseph Moore, 64 

Quaker-held Negroes, 30, 31 
Quaker House, Fayetteville, 107, 123 
Quaker Lake, 115 

Quaker Pilgimages to England, 124 
Quaker Youth Pilgrimages, 98, 116 

Reconstruction, 41 

Redding, Helen, Director of Christian Education, 114, 118 

Reece, Eli, pastor at Pomona, 64 

Registration for military service, 118 

Revolutionary Oak, 25, 93, 124 

Revolutionary War, 22 

Reynolds, Lorena, 61, 62 

Richland Meeting, Pa., 9 

Richmond Declaration of Faith, 55 

Ritenour, Scott, National Council of Churches, 91 

Rockingham Preparative Meeting, 107, 108, 114 

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 93, 124 

Rural Hall, 63 

Russell, John, 36 

Rypins, Rabbi Fred, 58 

Sadsbury Meeting, Pa., 9 
Sally Ann, Good Ship, 29 
Sampson, David, minister, 62-64 
Sampson Family, 54 
Scattergood, Thomas, 44 
School for slaves, 29 
School of missions, 74 
Science Hill Meeting, 58 
Seaside Meeting, Jamaica, 76 
Seekers Group, 122, 125 
Semmler, Carl, 117 
Sexual orientation, 126 

Shepherd, Edith, 112; Director of Christian Education, 118 



Short, Becky, travel minute, 98 
Sit-ins at Woolworth's, 102 
Smith, Bryant, 77 
Smith, Causey and Carrie, 54 
Smith, Donna, 76, 106 

Smith, Mark and Donna, minute to Jamaica, 76 

Sojourners No More, 127 

South River Meeting, Va., 10 

Southern Heroes. 37 

Spotswood, Gov. Alexander, of Va., 1, 2 

Stafford, David, serves in China, 75; presents petition, 86; Clerk of New 
Garden, 120 

Stafford, Joseph, conducted slaves to freedom, 33 
Stanley, Andrew, 37 
Stone, John, 16 

Stout, Orlando and Minnie, 53 
Sunday School-First Day School, 6, 122, 124 
Supreme Court decision of 1954, 101 
Swaim, Raul, 44 

Symons Creek, seat of Yearly Meeting, 16 

Talbert, Ann, 106 

Talbert, Samuel, Sr., 109 

Tarleton, Col Banastre, 23 

Tate, Capt. James, 23 

Tebbets, Charles, Mission Board, 74 

Terrell, Eva (m. Woody), service in Cuba, 74 

Thomas, Charles, pastor, 86, 121 

Thornburg, Joseph, 36 

Thorne, Dorothy Gilbert, 39, 96; passim. See also Gilbert, Dorothy Lloyd 

Tom's Creek Meeting, 27 

Transfers to other denominations, 56 

Uncle Frank's prayer, 30 

Underground Railroad, 32, 33 

United Society of Friends Women, 109, 123 

Upchurch, James, service in Mexico Botswana, 76 

Upper Reedy Fork Meeting (Dover), 12 

Urban Ministry, 123 

U-Thant, addresses World Conference, 97 
Uwchlan Meeting, Pa., 9 



Victorius, Gertrude, aids victims, 83 
Vietnam War opposed, 87, 103 

Walker's Chapel, 64 

War Quakers, 37 

Warnersville community, 123 

Warrington Meeting, Pa., 8 

Webb, Norval, at dedication, 1961, 92 

Weeks, Stephen B., historian, 9, 12, 34 

Wegesa, Benjamin, Peace Institute, 86 

Westfield Meeting, 4, 12, 62 

White, Alpheus, minister, 49, 72 

White, Roxie Dixon, minister, 49, 53 

White, Bertha, minister 105, 112 

White, Prof. George, 69 

White, Hugh, Sr., 82 

White, Jemima, 49 

White, Julia S., minister, 49, 72 

White, Lee, 83 

Whitewater Meeting, Indiana, 47 

Williams, Anna Edgerton, minister, missionary, 48, 73, 74 

Williams, J. Edgar, first pastor, 71, 72, 121 

Williams, Richard: sold first plot, 7, 13; died of smallpox, 24 

Winston, Laura, minute to Mexico, 73 

Winston-Salem Meeting, 64 

Wohl, Helen Robertson, portrait of William Penn, 93 

Wolf, William, M.D., 53 

Woman's College of U.N. C, 66 

Women's Christian Temperance Union, 62 

Woody, Ellen, service in Cuba, 74 

Woody, James, 44 

Woody, John W., 48, 69; purchases land, 79; organizes Men's Class, 109 

Woody, J. Waldo, President of Christian Endeavor Society, 58 

Woody, Martha, service in Cuba, 74 

Woody, Mary C, minister, 48, 61-64; passim 

Woolman, John, letter to New Garden, 26 

World Conference of 1967, 95 

World Federalist Movement, 84 

World War I, 77 

Worship room, new, 120, 121 

Worship room proposed, 1970, 112 

Worth Family, 54 



Worth, Gov. Jonathan, 42 
Wrenn, David, service in Korea, 76 
Wright, Mrs. Duncan, secretary, 114 

Y.M.C.A. at Guilford College, 63 

Yearly Meeting, New Garden site of, 16, 90 

Yearly Meeting, North Carolina, 121, 126, 127 

Yearly Meeting stock (treasury), 67 

York County, Pa., 8 

Young Friends, 58, 86, 122, 124 

Young Life uses meeting house, 108 

About the Author 

Hiram H. Hilty is Emeritus Professor of 
Spanish at Guilford College, and earlier 
served as a pastoral minister in New York, Cuba, 
and North Carolina. He also worked with 
Friends through several of their agencies in § 
Cuba and Mexico. Hilty' s writings concerning 
these countries have appeared in Friends 
journals and his book, Friends in Cuba, relates W 
the story of the founding and development of 
the Cuba Yearly Meeting of Friends. His most 
recent book, By Land and By Sea, tells the * 
remarkable story of the struggle of North 
Carolina Quakers against slavery. 

Hiram Hilty is a native of Iowa and grew up in Missouri. The pursuit 
of higher education took him to Ohio, Connecticut, and Mexico. He is 
married to the former Janet Brown of Danbury, Connecticut. They are 
the parents of three daughters and have four grandchildren. 

Other Books by the Author 

Friends in Cuba, 1977. 

Toward Freedom for All: North Carolina Quakers and Slavery, 1984. 

Greensboro Friends Meeting: A New Meeting for a New Age, 1987. 

By Land and By Sea: Quakers Confront Slavery and its Aftermath in 
North Carolina, 1993. 

North Carolina Friends Historical Society 

P.O. Box 8502, Greensboro, NC 27419 

New Garden Friends Meeting 

801 New Garden Road, Greensboro, NC 27410 

ISBN 0-SMESflS- Lfl- 




ISBN 0-942585-18-6